Jan 2012: Environment Act Amendments Repealed

The O'Neill/Namah government has repealed the controversial amendments to the Environment Act that had undermined the rights of traditional landowners. The amendments were bulldozed through Parliament in a single afternoon in May 2010 by the previous Somare regime.

Environment Minister Thompson Harokaqveh had described the amendments as "unnecessary and undesirable" and revealed the government had been advised the changes were unconstitutional.

The changes had removed the rights of PNG citizens to challenge large resource projects and prevented them seeking damages for environmental damage caused by multi-national corporations operating in the country.

The reversal of the amendments was an IMPORTANT VICTORY for people power.

ACT NOW! members had sent over 1,700 emails to government Ministers calling on them to reverse the amendments and in June 2010 ACT NOW! supporters throughout the country, helped to collect 18,000 signatures on a petition opposing the amendments.