Thursday 25 June, 2020
Prime Minister, Hon. James Marape, says the National Government will ensure a “win-win” situation for all parties involved in the Wafi-Golpu Mine in Morobe.
He said this today when addressing the first consultative meeting of Wafi-Golpu stakeholders at the Lae International Hotel.
The meeting was attended by National and Provincial leaders, Department heads, Church leaders, public servants, and landowners of from mine-affected areas and the City of Lae.
It started the process of a fair and equitable benefit distribution formula agreed upon by all parties.
The meeting gave Prime Minister Marape and Government agencies the opportunity to hear firsthand from landowners, Ward leaders, Local Level Government leaders, District leaders and Morobe Provincial Government.
“From this first meeting, all stakeholders will go as one, into further discussions with development partners to progress the Wafi-Golpu project.
“National Government will ensure the spirit of our Constitution and laws of our land are honoured so that landowners win, all levels of Government win and our development partners win, Prime Minister Marape said.
He, however, cautioned that the road ahead would not be easy.
“May I remind us all, in this path going forward, that the road will not be easy.
“Landowners will go against each other, landowners will go against Government, districts will go against Provincial Government, Provincial Government against National Government, or all of us will have issues with the company or company with us.
“Our common meeting place is the law of our land. Let us resolve our issues and differences with law as our guide,” he said.
Prime Minister Marape stressed that all stakeholders should recognise that God was supreme as the giver of law and creator of land, sea, resources and humans.
“Hence, if you are human, let us resolve our differences with law and maintain order as we go towards the process of securing an agreement that truly is a win-win for all parties, landowners, all levels of Government and our developers, he said.
Prime Minister Marape reminded investors that Papua New Guinea was no newcomer to mining, with Panguna mine on Bougainville being the saddest experience that had torn the country apart.
“PNG knows the benefits and pains of mining and extractive industries, he said.
“So far, pains outweigh the gains. Pains include costs on our environment and uneven distribution of wealth,.”
There is no greater crude and nasty reminder than the Panguna copper mine that caused continuous environmental damage, a civil war, and a part of our beloved country voting to break from our national union.
“My generation of leaders today will try to find the balance for our national dream of political and economic independence for our people, and profit for capital investors into the project.
“I ask each and all of you today, representing different stakeholders, to use the PNG Constitution and Law as our guide to secure a good project agreement that can truly transform the lives of our people.
“Transforming people’s lives is our duty as Government. We will do that in our Wafi-Golpu benefit distributions,” Mr Marape said.