Photos from the protest march in Madang

On June 30th over 3,000 people peacefully marched through Madang town to protest the government's amendments to the Environment law that take away landowners rights and grant immunity to foreign companies for the environmental damage they cause.

[img_assist|nid=1269|title=Madang protest 2|desc=|link=none|align=center|width=400|height=267]

[img_assist|nid=1271|title=Madang protest 3|desc=|link=none|align=center|width=400|height=267]

PMIZ hits a legal hurdle

Controversial plans for PNG’s first Special Economic Zone, the Pacific Marine Industrial Zone in Madang, have hit a legal hurdle.

Although the government had negotiated a $180 million loan from the Chinese government to fund the building of the industrial park, that loan is in breach of PNG law. This is because under the loan agreement one particular Chinese company will get to build the park and 70% of the loan monies have to be spent on Chinese goods and services. This breaches PNG laws that require open and competitive bidding process that includes at least 3 companies.

Land reform vision driven by bias and ideology

By JOHN FOWKE from an AIDWATCH report edited by TIM ANDERSON & GARY LEE*

IT SHOULD NOT be surprising that many Australians understand so little about Melanesian customary land.

They do not understand how land title not written down in a government register can be “secure”.

They do not understand how people can own land without being able to sell it.

PNG Mineral Policy and Legislative Review: Documents for public comments

The PNG government through the Department of Mineral Policy and Geohazards Management is undertaking a Mining policy and legislative review exercise in 2010.

The legislations and mineral policies of the Government of PNG as well as draft legislation and policies previously drafted are attached below for comments from the public.

The following documents are attached:

Somare's attempts at dictatorship gather pace

Prime Minister Michael Somare's attempts to rule Papua New Guinea like an African dictator have taken another step forward with an Edict from the Minister for Justice (see attached pdf below) that bans public debate on the Environment Act amendment and orders the police to stop any public gatherings or protests.

Somare's next step in selling off PNG makes Environment Act amendments look insignificant

Prime Minister, Michael Somare, has a secret legislative plan that will make the proposed changes to the Leadership Code and even the recent amendments to the Environment Act seem relatively benign and insignificant. 

The PM is waiting for the opportunity to again by-pass proper Parliamentary process and bulldoze through legislation for a Special Economic Zones (SEZs) that will further impoverish rural Papua New Guineans and boost the profits of foreign multinational companies.

Prime Minister is a cranky politician whose time is up


ELIZABETH JACKSON: Covering politics can be a tough gig for journalists; there's always lots of speculation and big egos. Reporters are often critical of politicians, but it's relatively rare for the criticism to flow the other way, publicly at least.

Not so in Papua New Guinea, where journalists recently received a tongue-lashing, courtesy of the prime minister Sir Michael Somare.

And as our PNG correspondent Liam Fox reports, it's not the first time it's happened.

Government arrogance knows no limits

Papua New Guinea's democracy has been further stained with the news the government has refused to accept the community petition against the 'Maladina' amendments which make changes to the Organic Law on the Duties and Responsibilities of Leadership . 

The petition, which contains over 20,000 signitures, was presented to five opposition MPs at Parliament House on May 4th when no government representatives were prepared to male themselves available.

Thank you Member for Sumkar, for putting the interests of your voters ahead of your own!

Mr. Ken Fairweather, a member of the People's National Congress and a senior minister in the Somare-led government, has resigned from the government in protest over the amendments to the Environment Act 2000. The amendments strip away rights of landowners to seek redress from the courts over environmental permits. The amendments were purposely made to defeat the current litigation by landowners, against Deep Sea Tailings Disposal System by a Chinese-Government owned Nickle Mine, MCC in Ramu, Madang Province, Papua New Guinea.