Somare condemns media report

Former State Enterprise Minister and Angoram MP Arthur Somare has condemned the media report claiming that the Government is not responsible for the LNG situation.

Somare was quoted in Loop PNG claiming that “The plight of the Gulf people's LNG benefit is not the work of the government.”

However, he said Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s Government has continuously breached the PNG LNG Projects’ 2009 UBSA and LBBSAs and has failed to deliver the entitlements and rights of the Beneficiary Group Landowners as secured in the UBSA Benefits Package by impacted landowners and provincial governments in May 2009.

“Unlike any other provinces, Gulf Province has two LNG projects and potentially an absolutely fantastic prospect for the future.

“The PNG LNG Project is into production now.  It was commissioned and started production and first export in May 2014 whilst the other project being the Papua LNG is still in its development phase”

He said it is the PNG LNG Project that he have voiced concerns over and since 2014 when he have been absolutely consistent in his stance on the matter and have never cowered or toned down on his voice of decent against the O’Neill Government's oppression of the PNG LNG landowners rights and entitlements as conferred to Beneficiary Group Landowners and their respective Provincial Governments in the 2009 Kokopo UBSA and the respective LBBSA by the Somare Government.

Somare added that the license based development forums between the Somare Government and landowners agreed to very precise positions with regards to benefits package that were both legislated entitlements (‘rights’) and the negotiated outcomes (‘the agreed positions’).

He said these forums formed the totality of the landowners' and provincial governments' Benefits Package accruing from the PNG LNG Project in all the development, construction and production phases.

“What I said in Siviri Village, Kerema, was to emphasise and encourage the Governor for Gulf Province, Havila Kavo, to take a more proactive position on landowner benefits for the collective benefit and interest of his constituents in Siviri Village, Kerema and for that matter the whole of Gulf Province.

“I sternly encouraged Governor Kavo to request Prime Minister Peter O’Neill in the strongest possible terms the immediate and unconditional release of their UBSA and PNG LNG Project entitlements and rights that were currently being horded in secret trust accounts in Port Moresby since May 2014 when first shipment left the shores of the Papuan Coast.”

Freddy Mou