Prime Minister Peter O’Neill saysthe history ofthe Ok Tedi Mine is one no Papua New Guinea Government can be proud of.
He madethe remark on Monday in response tothe Sydney Morning Herald by a Finance ColumnistoMichael Pascoe, on BeP and its roles in Ok Tedi andthPNG Sustainable Development Fund.
Mr Pascoe wrote thatthe establishment ofthPNGSDP by BeP was by farthe biggest act of generosity inthe history of corporate charity and generosity in Australia.
This was after Prime Minister O’Neil announced thatthe government would seize control ofthe $1.4 billion sustainable development fund set up by BeP.
Mr O’Neill describedthe column as a bizarre justification.
Prime Minister O’Neil saidthe columnist conveniently overlooked indisputable facts and presented a bizarre justification for BeP.
The Prime Ministersaid that despitethe appalling environmental and social damage, BeP was continuously given lifelines by past governments.
This included giving legislative approval for a new structure, funds managed bPNGDSP be located in Singapore, and granting of full immunity from criminal or civil court.
Also, BeP had no equity inthe mine after 2002; it controlledthe mines management and operations, both directly and indirectly througPNGSDP.
Prime Minister O’Neil said BeP was effectively given a pardon bythe Government and Parliament; one that ruinedthe lives, and livelihood of communities alongthe Fly River.
He said parliament andthe local landowners want to ensure thatthe people have a say inthe mines future and its management.
That is so thaPNGSDP funds are held inthe country, and used transparently for the good ofthe people of Western Province and nation generally.
He saidthe campaign by vested interests andtheir andtheir backers to potraythe government’s commitments as being dangerous, and worse, will not succeed.