Donald wants independent enquiry

North Fly MP, James Donald, has called on the Prime Minister for an independent enquiry into the causes of the 7.5 magnitude earthquake of February 26th.

The enquiry will also be for the possibility of criminal and civil implications on operators of the major gas projects if the earthquake was artificially conduced.

He asked this during a series of questions in Parliament on Wednesday.

James Donald asked Peter O’Neill that the independent report be tabled in Parliament and actions taken if the earthquake caused was manmade.

He also called for a Damages Trust Fund to be set up by oil and gas project developers and operators so that they can assist with immediate relief.

The Prime Minister said he has announced that the Australian Government will carry out the independent report.

A point of order was raised by Sinesine-Yongomugl MP, Kerenga Kua that the Australian Government would not carry out an independent assessment because they indirectly had interest in one of the major gas projects.

O’Neill, said he was open to suggestions however maintained that many of the organizations able to carry out such investigations were fully independent.

Meantime, Donald, asked the Prime Minister how much the Government has spent of its own money on the relief efforts while there have been many.

He also wanted to know how much from more than K100 million in funding from donors and mining companies such as Ok Tedi Mine, which donated K50 million, has been spent for North Fly.

The Prime Minister said all finding from donors including OK Tedi is being spread to all affected areas.

He added Government had released K20 millions of its own money towards the efforts.

The Prime Minister continued and reiterated the Governments K450 million commitment for the next four years towards relief and restoration.

Cedric Patjole