Autonomous Bougainville Government

NFA, ABG to sign deal

This is consistent with the recently concluded Joint Supervisory Body Meeting as per the peace agreement.

A total of K15 million will be handed over to the ABG tomorrow during a very important public ceremony at the Bel Isi Park.

This is also part of the draw down of powers between the National Government and ABG.

This makes fisheries the fourth sector to be drawn down after public service, education and mining.

There are over 20 powers in the Bougainville Peace Agreement.

Exploration in Bougainville led by LOs

Prospecting has started since the introduction of legislation allowing landowners complete ownership of customary land, and the lifting of the moratorium on specific localities for mineral exploration.

However, the ABG is making sure the exploration is done in the best interest of the people.

ABG Treasury and Finance Minister, Robin Wilson, said currently there is a moratorium on Panguna Mine due to its history and sensitive nature, which is being carefully addressed.

However, exploration has been allowed in other parts of the island.

Legislations to reserve businesses for locals: ABG

ABG Treasury and Finance Minister, Robin Wilson, said the legislations aim to boost the local economy by maintaining revenue on the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.

Wilson said they are mindful of how some investors keep money offshore and want to avoid that scenario.

With the development of key infrastructure on Bougainville, the ABG is gearing towards potential investment opportunities on the island.

Moratorium on Panguna mine

ABG Treasury and Finance Minister, Robin Wilson, said the move was to avoid further disputes until a common ground is reached on a way forward.

He said this during the presentation of the ABG’s budget to Treasury yesterday.

Wilson said the ABG Government implemented the moratorium on Panguna given various views of stakeholders which could potentially escalate problems.

He informed Deputy Prime Minister Charles Abel of the moratorium that is in place.

JSB meeting a ‘breakthrough’

Shadow Minister for Bougainville Affairs and Deputy Opposition Leader, Timothy Masiu, said it addresses a lot of issues that have been lingering in the minds of Bougainvilleans, especially in regards to the issue of the Referendum Commission and the restoration development grants funding.

“On behalf of the Opposition and as Shadow Minister for Bougainville Affairs, I’m delighted that the ABG and the National Government can agree to some of the issues and move forward.”

More women need to become MPs: Semoso

These were the words of Deputy Speaker of the Autonomous Bougainville Government, Francesca Semoso, after returning from a two-day workshop in Brisbane, Australia.

“There are decisions that are being made that are male-oriented and do not cater for women and children,” said Semoso.

She outlined that the workshop in Brisbane was funded by the United Nations Development Program and Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and focused on male views as to why women struggled to get into parliament.

O’Neill assures ABG on referendum

He made the commitment during the closing of the Joint Supervisory Body meeting in Port Moresby on Friday (Dec 15).

The conclusion of the JSB meeting began with ironing of technical agreements, which then led to a negotiation scenario.

After two hours and with both sides satisfied, binding documents were signed.

Later in a joint media conference, PM O’Neill announced that at the heart of the meeting was the referendum agenda, particularly the setting up of the referendum transitional committee.

ABG’s joint body meeting set for December

ABG President Dr John Momis, in a special parliament convened last week to discuss the JSB, said some of the agendas are outstanding from previous meetings while others are focused on the referendum preparations.

The referendum preparations will be a dominant issue of discussion in the JSB and with the recent formation of the Bougainville Referendum Commission, there is an urgency to operationalise it.

ABG develops options for economic improvement

Speaking at the recent summit closing, Chief Secretary Joseph Nobetau acknowledged the creative and innovative presentations and contributions made and proposed the next steps that the ABG will focus on.

The Chief Secretary then presented a range of initiatives based on Summit presentations and discussions. These include:

​More resources needed for referendum: Lera

Bougainville’s Regional Member, Joe Lera, says to prepare and to fulfil the three conditions of the Bougainville Peace Agreement, the government and all leaders concerned must unite and work with the people.

He appreciates the new structure of the community governments by the Autonomous Bougainville Government and says this is the way forward for Bougainville.

“For decades we have overseen the potential and contributions that our community leaders can make towards the building of our province and country as a whole,” said Lera.