Sally Pokiton | PNG Loop | November 15, 2017
A temporary hold on royalty payments from Newcrest Mining Limited, has been ordered by the Waigani National Court today.
The people of Namatanai district, claim they have not received their share of royalties in the last 10 years, an amount that equates to K7 billion.
With the restraining order in place, only the Nimamar LLG and Lihir Landowners will receive their royalties this month.
Kavieng and Namatanai districts and the New Ireland Provincial governments will not receive any payments until parties present their case, on how much they should be paid, and get a clarity on the gures in court next month.
Member for Namatanai, Walter Schnaubelt and member for Kavieng Ian Ling Stucky led a case in the National court, against Sir Julius Chan as Governor for New Ireland Province Government, and Lamiller Pawut as Acting Provincial Administrator of New Island Province.
The sitting MPs are seeking clarity on all the past payments, and how much should have been paid between the New Ireland Provincial Government and the two districts as per the Lihir MOA.
They want an account of all those monies and how much should have been paid to them through the Provincial Treasury accounts.
Schnaubelt said the Provincial Government received K168 million under the governorship of Sir Julius Chan, from 2007 till now.
“I’m fighting for my people’s share. As a district, we never received our portion for the last 10 years. Hopefully the National Government can give us what we deserve initially, in accordance to the Lihir MOA, where Namanatani district is supposed to receive 20% of the Lihir royalties,” he said.
The Lihir Landowners and Nimamar LLG gets 50% payment. From the other 50%, Kavieng and Namatanai districts are to receive K20% each while the 10% is retained by the provincial government.
“The Lihir MOA was very clear, outlining the recipients but unfortunately, Namatanai district has not been receiving its share for 10 years, and that equates for K7 billion years, hence why Namatanai district is in the state its in, a total neglect.
“Hopefully all these corrective measures will now be put in place, and the challenge is now on me as member to deliver the services I promised during the election,” Schnaubelt said.
The two members believe the Lihir MOA is unfair, as royalties have been unfairly administered among the two districts, and they want an account to be given on the payments that should to be received on behalf of the two districts.
In the meantime, their royalty payments will be made to the National court trust accounts. Whether the orders will continue, that will be determined on December 4.