LO warns of arms uprising

A landowner representative from Gulf Province has warned resource company, Total SA, of a potential arms uprising if the move to establish the liquefaction plant at Caution Bay continues.

John Poha, Executive Officer of the Larivita Hela Landowner Group Incorporated, made the statements following announcements by the company that it will stick with its original plan to develop the Caution Bay plant.

Poha has labeled resource company Total SA as ‘arrogant’, ‘insensitive’ and ‘greedy’ to the people of the province.

He said they are all for development but want the plant to remain in the province and not piped to Caution Bay as they would not benefit economically. This was the demand of the landowners.

“The decision is an ingredient for uprising if the company does not want to listen to the people,” he said.

“If they don’t listen to the demands of the landowners, possible arms uprising might occur, second the landowners will block their gas resource, and they will use other means to stop the company from taking the gas resource out from the province,” Poha said.

The comments from the representative follows Total SA’s announcement to stick with its initial plan of having the plant at Caution Bay and put next to PNG (LNG) due to synergies between the Papua project and the PNG (LNG) project.

Early this month, Minister for Petroleum and Energy, Nixon Duban, said the Government was behind Total SA’s decision.

“As government we are supporting Total, we think that’s the right decision they have made and it is an important milestone for this country.

“We as government have respected that decision because it is based purely on project economics and Caution Bay will remain the project location for Total,” Duban said in Parliament on April 1st.

Gulf Governor, Havila Kavo, who has raised the issue several times in this parliament’s term, has not responded to Total SA and Minster Duban’s statements recently.

Poha has asked why the Governor has all of a sudden become quiet.

Picture (L to R): John Poha, Representative & Executive Officer, Larivita Hela Landowner Group Incorporated; Haiveta Miviri, Chairman Larivita Hela Landowner Group Incorporated; Westley Ake; Perry M Poha

Cedric Patjole