Tread carefully in reviewing resource laws: Minister

Member for North Fly, James Donald, recently asked if some sections of the resource laws could be changed to address what he believes is an unfair distribution of wealth or benefits, especially for resources owners.

His question during the recent Parliament session was directed to the Minister for Petroleum, Kerenga Kua, who said industry legislations will be looked at carefully because these are billion-dollar industries.

Minister Kua said the first task that his Ministry has taken to is the Papua LNG Gas agreement.

“We have started to look at the Papua LNG gas agreement that was signed. We will not revoke it, but for the satisfaction of this new government and the people, we are doing an internal audit in line with the law and then we can take necessary steps after that,” he clarified.

Kua said the contract is already binding, unless there is demonstration of fraud.

“One element of fraud is non-compliance with statutory requirements. We have to tick all the boxes to satisfy the new government and the people.”

He added the government has also proceeded to look at the current state of the law because many concerns have been raised over the legislative framework, which does not allow us to maximise our returns to PNG.

“We need money to develop. From petroleum to mining, forestry, fisheries and even the police. It involves billions (of money) in these industries, so we have to do this carefully,” he stressed.

He assured members of parliament that this key endeavour is being pursued and some proposals will be brought before cabinet.

Salome Vincent