This was highlighted during the opening of a two-day 2022 Resource Industry Media Workshop held on Loloata Island in Central Province yesterday. Event runs from April 21-22, which ends today.
PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum, Executive Senior Vice President Richard Kassman in his welcome address told media representatives from media houses present that the workshop was an opportunity for journalists to enhance their understanding and take on the industry especially the extractive industry, which is the focus of the Government.
“We have a responsibility in nation building and what you as journalists report must contribute positively to the minds of ordinary Papua New Guineans,” Mr Kassman told journalists.
He said to set the scene, the industry has been at the center of much of what has developed in the term of this current government and the media had a big role to play and new reports must be based on facts and accuracy for public consumption
“Public perception about the resource sector has been greatly misinformed, and fuelled by both traditional, and new opponents to industry. Major public statements by our national leaders has not helped in nurturing informed understanding about the way industry works in the process of Gold Exports, for example,” Mr Kassman said.
The Chamber of Mines highlighted key issues that the public needed to know of and this were:
- The Porgera Gold Mine in care and maintenance, as we await its resumption; Both skilled Papua New Guineans and the economy were gravely impacted by this;
- Since the onset of the global COVID-19 Pandemic, the world, and indeed, Papua New Guinea- has had to adapt and live under new protocols that have changed the way we interact, and the way we do business.
He stated that the Industry has had to adapt, and has, since the pandemic reached PNG shores, been active on the front lines in contributing to assist the PNG Government, meet the challenges this pandemic has created.
Mr Kassman said the true value and impact of the mining and petroleum industry for many years, been grossly misquoted.
“While the traditional focus has been on tax revenue, current industry projects continue to contribute positively in all areas of social and economic development in both project impact communities, and to the national economy as a whole.
“We are always thankful to the PNG EITI National Secretariat for supporting the Chamber in its events. The Secretariat is an important asset available to the media, to understand industry’s contributions to the country.”
“To the journalists we hope you understand and learn that there are already processes in place, to allow you, as journalists, to gather the correct information about industry, and to know who to speak to, on what matter, and exactly when to extract the information you need for your stories.”