Major resource projects have failed PNG say Catholic Bishops

Catholic Bishops meeting in Lae for their annual conference have highlighted the fact that major resource projects in PNG have generally failed the people and have had more negative consequences than positive ones.

“For many people the most obvious outcome of so-called development has been more negative than positive, for example, widespread corruption, poverty and violence are on the rise”.

“Wealth hasn’t trickled down throughout society and so urban settlements are growing and rural areas are becoming poorer,” say the bishops in a Pastoral Letter.

Ramu mine injunction reflects a more general failure to follow our National Goals

The National Court sitting in Madang last week refused to lift an injunction preventing the Chinese Metallurgical Construction Company (MCC) from constructing a marine tailings disposal system for its Ramu nickel mine.

The Ramu nickel mine is just one of several large mining projects under construction in Papua New Guinea and is the first major Chinese investment in the country.

Vision Accomplished?

Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) National Goals and Directive Principles provide the Job Description of all leaders of this nation. They set the foundation on which this nation must be governed. But it seems our leaders have forgotten the script.

Forty years ago, 16 Papua New Guinean members of then, House of Assembly, developed a vision for a new nation.

Ombudsman Commission opposition to proposed amendments could not be clearer

The Ombudsman Commission's opposition to the proposed changes to the Leadership Code could not be clearer, despite mischievous claims from some politician that the Commission supports the amendments.

In May 2009 the Ombudsman Commission submitted an 11 page brief to the National Executive Council (which can be downloaded below) setting out its concerns about so called "Maladina" amendments and making clear that it did not support the changes.

The Ombudsman Commission submission makes clear that the proposed changes:

PNG caught in a self perpetuating cycle of violence

The people of Papua New Guinea are caught in a self-perpetuating cycle of violence, says Medicine Sans Frontiers.

The rapid development the country has experienced over the past year has had the unintended consequence of aggravating existing tensions. For the most part, it is women and children who bear the brunt of this, suffering rape and other terrible forms of violence—some of it carried out by family members—that create an urgent need for both medical care and psychosocial support.

CRUDE: A stunning documentary with important lessons for PNG

A recent video documentary called CRUDE is all about the Ecuadorian Amazonians and their 10 year fight against Chevron Texaco for polluting their land.

Pablo Farcado, the 2009 Goldman prize winner, was not a lawyer when he commenced legal proceedings on behalf of his Ecuadorian Amazonian people...

The Maladina Amendments - get your own copy

The proposed amendments to the Organic Law on the Duties and Responsibilities of Leadership - the so-called 'Maladina amendments' - have created a lot of controversy. 

The Community Coalition Against Corruption is mounting a major campaign to try and persuade Parliament not to enact the proposed amendments.

The Ombudsman Commission, whose powers would be restricted by the proposed amendments, is against the changes (despite apparent claims to the contrary by the Government in Parliament).

But what are the proposed changes?

Is the government listening to our fears on the resource boom?

It would be easy to conclude the government has its head in the sand over the current resources boom and is ignorant of the fears of most in the general community.

While the Prime Minister and his senior team constantly talk up the good times ahead for PNG from major resource projects like LNG, the Ramu nickel mine and the Pacific Marine Industrial Zone, most acadmics, observers and media commentators are seriously worried that PNG is heading for a huge disaster.

Post Courier asks are proposed law changes sinister or good?

Post Courier editorial, April 9 2010

WE ARE told that the proposed amendments to the Forestry Act is for good of the seven million people in PNG and there is no sinister motive by Forest Minister Belden Namah and the National Forest Authority in trying to amend the Act.

At the same time, Parliament is dealing with the amendments to Ombudsman Commission Act and we are told that there is nothing sinister about the amendments. 

However opposition to the proposed changes to the two laws are already mounting.

Police barracks condemned but who is to blame?

One hundred police and their families have been left homeless in Lae after health authorities declared the Bumbu police barracks unfit for human habitation.

In an inspection carried out on Tuesday it was found the houses were infested with termites, there was a serious sewerage overflow and no power or water supplies. 

It is reported that the houses have received no major maintenance since they were constructed in the 1960's and two homes recently collapsed on top of sleeping families.