MP calls for investigation into logging company

Picture: Manus MP, Roney Knight

Source:The National

MANUS MP Ronny Knight wants the PNG Forest Authority to scrutinise a logging company that has been operating in his electorate and is now bidding to go into agro-forestry.

Knight raised that in Parliament last Friday, stating that the same company has been logging in Manus for the last 25 years.

“This is our last virgin forest and should be left to our future generation. It covers several LLGs and the effects are very negative if this operation goes ahead,” he said.

“They intend to log out this area and plant rubber (trees), which is ridiculous considering that a third of the province’s land on the West Coast of Manus has already been logged. They’ve already cut down the trees; why are they trying to plant rubber (trees) in the same area they used for logging?”

He directed his questions to Forest Minister Douglas Tomuriesa.

He raised concerns about the company’s failure to fulfil its community obligations, adding that certain individuals within the community have struck deals with this company.

Knight asked Tomuriesa if he could strike out the project and investigate those involved. He asked if Tomuriesa could put Manus on the carbon trade scheme.

Tomuriesa said the company had not yet gone into the area to operate.

He said for PNGFA to grant a permit, the company would have to go through 32 steps as part of the requirement.

“The advertisement taken up in the newspaper yesterday was taken by the Department of Environment, not the logging company. They are still following the steps; first of all they have to go the Department of Lands to get clearance and they must get the ILGs.”