From PAUL OATES
In an impassioned plea on the following website, Mr George Ireng, the campaigner who has led the landowners campaign against the Ramu mine waste dumping, seeks the assistance of everyone who disagrees with this legislation:http://ramumine.wordpress.com/
At the same time, the new Rai Coast MP James Gau says there is no proof that the waste disposal of the Ramu mine will damage the environment and demands the project should go ahead. He said the time for talking is now over and that NGO's should come up with other development projects to help the people of the Rai Coast. Mr Gau said that the deep sea disposal of mining waste was safe.
Apparently, Mr Gau is deluding himself and his electorate that once the mine tailings might start polluting the sea off his electorate and possibly killing off the fish and natural resources, he could then demand the project be turned off with the flick of a switch. What planet is he on? Didn't he read the government withheld the independently produced environmental impact study that says there are concerns about the project?
Of the few Haus Tambaran members who were allowed to speak on the matter, Milne Bay Governor John Luke, in supporting the amendments, said he (indicating a third party) came from a foreign country that had wiped out its resources and was now telling PNG what to do.
"People from outside are coming here and telling us what to do. How can we listen to them if they have developed through the use of their natural resources?"
He said on deep sea tailings, he saw nothing wrong with it. Luke said Misima had used the same system and nothing bad had come out of it, as the tailings were dumped in waters that were too deep for fishing and diving.
So Governor Luke, exactly where do you think the owners and operators of the Ramu mine come from? Where is your evidence that such a proposal is without risk and where did this evidence originate?
This whole imbroglio smacks of deceit and quite possibly possibly worse.
The National 31 May 2010
Ramu mine must start, says MP
By JEFFREY ELAPA
NON-governmental organisations protesting against the Ramu nickel mine deep sea tailings placement system at Basamuk in Madang should not hinder the progress and development, new Rai Coast MP James Gau has said.
Gau said this after the project had been further delayed through a court injunction by an NGO-led group stopping further construction of the trailings pipeline.
He said the mine was important for the people of Rai Coast, especially those living along the coastal pipeline route and the refinery site a Basamuk; these people had been neglected and denied visible development over the years.
Gau said there was no proof of environmental damage at this stage for critics to be concerned.
"Production must proceed; let us see how it goes first because the landowners, the government and the developers have signed the agreement to allow the mine to go head.
"The time to talk about that should have been during the signing of the agreement," he said.
Gau said there was no other safe method of tailings disposal available; deep sea tailings was the best options available as far as scientists and experts were concerned.
He called on the NGOs, which are against the Ramu nickel mine, to offer alternative solutions and development ideas for the people of Rai Coast.
"If they cannot provide alternate development plans, then, they must leave the people of Rai Coast alone, not use them for their own selfish gains."
House outlaws third party in resource projects
By ISAAC NICHOLAS
PARLIAMENT has passed laws that will outlaw third party lawsuits against resource projects in Papua New Guinea.
The amendments to the Environment Bill, which was passed 73-0, meant that the restraining order preventing the Ramu nickel cobalt (Ramu NiCo) mine project in Madang from operating would be lifted and operations to resume.
Environment and Conservation Minister Benny Allan told Parliament last Friday that the Environment (Amendment) Bill 2010 will supplement, give full effect to enable holders of environment permits to comply with the standards and requirements stated in their permits.
He said the amendment would also mitigate risks associated with third party litigation, or lawsuits. He said a recent court decision against the state had exposed resource projects to the risks that environmental permits, granted by the state after satisfying legal and scientific requirements, might not be valid and enforceable.
Allan said a third party (financed by special interest groups), although not a stakeholder in such projects, could now challenge the validity of an environmental permit and frustrate works and activities carried out in accordance with such permits and approvals.
"The idea that this could happen, even though any such project had been operating within the terms of those permits, gives rise to a concern of national priority," he said.
"All major mining and petroleum projects (including LNG projects) are particularly at risk, whether they are already operating, in construction or have been proposed.
"This represented a significant threat to the PNG economy and investor confidence; it is, therefore, a matter of utmost national significance."
He said the amendments were intended to assist the Department of Environment and Conservation and the courts better interpret and apply environmental laws.
"It is imperative that the amendments are effected immediately," Allan said.
Milne Bay Governor John Luke, in supporting the amendments, said he came from a foreign country that had wiped out its resources and was now telling PNG what to do.
"People from outside are coming here and telling us what to do.
"How can we listen to them if they have developed through the use of their natural resources?"
He said on deep sea tailings, he saw nothing wrong with it.
Luke said Misima had used the same system and nothing bad had come out of it, as the tailings were dumped in waters that were too deep for fishing and diving.