THE GOVERNMENT is being told it must defend Papua New Guinea’s sovereignty in the dispute over the Solwara 1 experimental seabed mining project.
Last week Australian judge Murray Gleeson, sitting in Sydney, ordered the PNG government to pay Canadian mining company, Nautilus Minerals, K295 million in return for a 30% stake in the controversial Solwara 1 mine.
This is despite PNG officials advising their government the deal is a bad one for PNG and makes no economic sense.
“The government must not allow foreign mining companies and foreign judges making decisions overseas to dictate what happens in Papua New Guinea” says community activist group ACT NOW!
“It is totally wrong that an Australian judge sitting in a secret hearing in Sydney can make a decision that will affect the lives of thousands of people in PNG. What does he know about our marine environment, our customs and our way of life?”
“This is total unjust and undemocratic. PNG is supposed to be an independent country. We must make our own decisions.
“The days of us having to crawl at the feet of the colonial masta ended in 1975,” says John Chitoa from the Bismarck Ramu Group
“Investing almost K300 million of our money in a mine that might never make a profit and which will destroy an important marine environment is just ludicrous”, say the activist groups.