In the past few weeks, landowners living near the impact zone of the Pacific Marine Industrial Zone in Madang province, have vented their concerns on the project. There were, and still remain disgruntled landowners who do not want the PMIZ project to proceed.
Even anthropologist, Nancy Sullivan explains that the whole swathe of Madang fishing will go if this kind of project takes place.
“You take a huge chunk of the north coast and you basically kill rural coastal fishing, no matter what they say, a whole of Madang coastal fishing will go.”
However, despite complaints from these people, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has assured the people of the country that the Government will go ahead in developing the PMIZ project.
In a statement released today, O’Neill said that the government would only allow the project to go ahead and operate when it is satisfied that the design used for the disposal of waste from the canneries is of world standard and safe to the environment.
He said, the land where PMIZ project is located was bought from RD Tuna Cannery and is state land, and not customary land, as some have alleged.
The project is expected to generate K2 billion annually in economic activity, and will provide over 20,000 job opportunities for locals through direct employment and the development of small business. Communities that will reap direct benefits from it are Baiteta, Kananam, Malmal, Rampi and Riwo, among others.
O’Neill added that the landmark proposal is before the National Executive Council for consideration and local communities, the Madang Provincial Government and the National Government are joint owners of the port township.
“This will be established through a process that will ensure transparency with expenditure and contractual arrangements to be fully assed by relevant agencies.”