Speaking at the National conference on the Bougainville Referendum recently in Port Moresby, Mr O’Neill said the Government is very much committed to holding the referendum.
PM O’Neill said 2019 and 2020 are the crucial years for us to ensure the referendum is done.
He is certain that the next JSB meeting in Bougainville will allow for an agreement to the details and of course agree to the Referendum Committee.
He added that the National Government in its wisdom, has also progressed efforts in adhering to our own Constitutional responsibilities.
Mr O’Neill stressed that in the Consultation, with both governments, have worked together in establishing the Bougainville Referendum Commission – which is going to be responsible for the conduct of the Referendum.
Over the past seven years, the National Government has provided around 500 million Kina to the ABG.
Unfortunately, Mr O’Neill said to date, we have not seen accountability and transparency in this half a billion Kina in funding.
This is not good governance – but it is an issue that we can work on together and resolve, says the PM
O’Neill said accountability in the use of public funds is essential.
Our country has been following Bougainville issues over the last 43 years.
In terms of landowner rights, mining options, state participation in resource development, in terms of the structuring of provincial governments and the establishment of the autonomous government on Bougainville itself.
Bougainvilleans must be provided with the opportunity to vote consciously with clearly articulated political options before them.
The PM reiterated that PNG will continue to honour the Peace Process and he is certain that the National Parliament will make the right decision given the interests of both Bougainville and Papua New Guinea.