Minister denies plot to destroy islands for canneries

Trade, Commerce and Industry Minister Richard Maru has denied claims that two islands in Madang will be destroyed to create space for the Pacific Marine Industrial Zone (PMIZ) project.

Maru was responding to a PNG Loop question over the issue of the PMIZ today in Port Moresby.

He said “these are all lies’’ and people needed to know the facts about the project and stop misleading the media.

He said many lies had been going on about the project and those “telling the lies” were trying to destroy the project.

However, Maru said he will not tolerate those lies and will continue with the project.

He said his department will arrange for an educational trip for media representatives in Port Moresby to Madang and see what is happening with the project and report accurately to the people.

Meanwhile Secretary John Andrias backed the minister and said the land was state owned and belonged to the government.

“We are not removing any islands or whatsoever from the 215 hectares of land which belongs to the government and not landowners.”

He said the government will only look at the impact communities that are living around the proposed project site.

He said the land is totally owned by the government and no landowners have any right to talk about the land ownership.

The project will be started as soon as the interpretation of the designs are finalised in the near future.

Maru added that the project once completed will provide more than 20,000 jobs for the people and boost the country’s economy.

He said impact communities had been living in their areas with no jobs, no spin-off benefits and this PMIZ project would definitely give them jobs and benefits.

Picture source: act now 

Freddy Mou