Research and advocacy organisations Act Now! and Jubilee Australia Research Centre have welcomed a report that the bank accounts of 30 logging companies operating in Papua New Guinea (PNG) have been closed.
Updated 18 March 2022 with the details of four further new log export operations that started in December 2021
Government claims that it has stopped issuing new log export licences to foreign owned logging companies are not borne out by the evidence, says community advocacy organisation ACT NOW!
sixteen twenty new foreign operated log export operations that have started up since 2020, according to the government’s own log export data”, says ACT NOW! Campaign Manager Eddie Tanago.
Nine years after a Commission of Inquiry exposed the huge illegal SABL land grab, government efforts to cancel the leases have completely failed, says ACT NOW.
Last week Lands Minister, John Rosso, told Parliament that of seventy SABL leases recommended to be be cancelled only twenty have so far been rescinded.
“Just twenty leases cancelled over a nine year period is frankly pathetic”, says ACT NOW Campaign Manager, Eddie Tanago.
Commercial banks operating in Papua New Guinea have given at least K300 million (AU$144 million) in available credit, since 2000, to the country’s five largest exporters of tropical logs, a new report by Act Now! and Jubilee Australia Research Centre has revealed.
The Prime Minister must extend the government's ban on new logging permits to cover all types of logging consent in order for it to be effective, says community advocacy group ACT NOW.
The PM last week directed the PNG Forest Authority to stop issuing new permits and permit extensions so the government can meet its deadline of 2025 for an end to the export of unprocessed raw logs.
Community advocacy group ACT NOW is calling on the government to immediately publish the Auditor General’s report on spending for the 2018 APEC Summit.
“The government has repeatedly promised that the APEC Audit report will be made public but it is now almost three-years since the Summit and we are still waiting”, says Campaign Manager, Eddie Tanago.
According to the Auditor General, his report was given to the Speaker of Parliament in April, but has yet to be presented to MPs.
The Forest Authority must stop aiding and abetting logging companies identified by the IRC as defrauding the State and landowners by evading taxes, says community advocacy group ACT NOW!
“If logging companies are unlawfully evading taxes then the Forest Authority and the Minister must act to stop these companies accessing even more areas of forest to feed their criminal activities” says Campaign Manager, Eddie Tanago.
The latest scandal over catering services at the Rita Flynn Isolation Centre, highlights the government’s broken promises to publish previous audit reports and break the cycle of impunity enjoyed by senior bureaucrats, says community advocacy group ACT NOW!
The increase in duty on round log exports, introduced in the 2020 budget, is having a positive effect according to analysis conducted by the community advocacy group ACT NOW!
“The higher export duty has both increased government revenue and driven down the level of logs exports in line with government policy” says Campaign Manager Eddie Tanago.
Papua New Guinea’s international corruption rating has slipped a further one-point, from 28 to 27, in the latest figures released by Transparency International.
This is bad news for the economy and a sad reflection on the state of our democracy says ACT NOW! campaign manager Eddie Tanago.