PNG – time for a review of Australian policy
Somare in ‘dangerous power grab’, says minister

Basic services require a bigger resources stake


THE PNG GOVERNMENT needs to make amendments to the Gas and Oil Act so the state can take a 30% stake in resources projects in PNG.

The government’s current 22.5% equity is insufficient to meet growing requirements for services in PNG.

When split between the national government, provincial governments, local level governments and landowners, it is like ten people sharing the same plate of food.

Of the 30%, the national government should retain 20% with the remaining 10% given to provincial governments, LLGs and landowners of the project area.

The problem of signing oil and mining agreements will be a bigger issue in future because landowners have learned from past experiences that have left the resource provinces with nothing but continued poverty.

If the government amends the Gas and Oil Act, landowners are more likely to cooperate in signing future agreements.

We must realise that the boom in the mining and petroleum sector is a cyclical wave. One day these non-renewable resources will come to an end.

Now they generate billions of kina, but we will be regretful when they resources are gone if this money is not used wisely now.

This is an urgent call to the government to make amendments to the Gas and Oil Act so we can have enough from our resources for the country’s development.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Phil Fitzpatrick

Under the Oil and Gas Act, which has just been amended, it was possible for multiple ILG registrations. People who realised there was something in the wind often set up ILGs for the specific purpose of excluding their fellow landowners.

The amendments specifically address this problem with provisions to monitor registrations, and there is now a public scrutiny period and involvement of LLGs.

If the resources are provided, and that's a big 'if', the system might work. The funding has to get from Moresby to the provincial government and then to the District Administrator (who is usually in the local member's pocket since districts have the same boundaries as the open electorates) without getting sidetracked.

It is interesting to note that, unlike the Forestry legislation, it is not mandatory for oil and gas royalties etc to be negotiated or paid through ILGs, although that is the government's preferred option. Other local organisations can presumably legally take the place of ILGs.

The government also ignores local customs and presumes incorrectly that all landowners are members of patrilineal or matrilineal clans. This causes a lot of people to miss out on royalties.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)