O’Neill clears air on K200m mine fund
The National aka The Loggers Times | 18 July 2018
PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill told Parliament yesterday that well over K200 million from OK Tedi Mine is currently accumulating in the Community Mine Continuation Agreement (CMCA) and non-CMCA trust accounts for the people of Western.
He said this in response to questions from Middle Fly MP James Donald on why Government had made a decision to transfer money in the CMCA and the non-CMCA trust accounts to Mineral Resource Development Company (MRDC).
Donald said he was very concerned because MRDC was a “milking cow” for people in Waigani.
“I asked the prime minister earlier on and he had given me and the people of Western province assurance that the funds were in safe hands,” he said.
“An NEC decision in June 2017 has stated that after the audits of the CMCA and the non-CMCA trust accounts, the balance of the funds, will be transferred to MRDC.
“I am very concerned that the prime minister has lied to me and the people of Western.
“MRDC is a milking cow for Waigani people and the funds are now in the wrong hands.”
O’Neill said what the Government tried to do was to correct gross mismanagement and misuse of funds in the CMCA and non-CMCA trust accounts over the past years.
He said hundreds of millions of kina belonging to Western people under CMCA and non-CMCA trust accounts had been mismanaged over the years.
“Those funds have never reached the people,” O’Neill said.
“That’s why we are trying to correct and stop this nonsense going on.
“The government has put a ban on the CMCA and non-CMCA trust accounts and conducted an audit.”