Tuesday, September 24, 2013

No jobs will be lost in restructure, O’Neill says

Source: The National, Tuesday September 24th, 2013

PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill has assured staff of the Ok Tedi mine that no jobs will be lost in the restructure of its ownership.
“The management will not change,” he said on the FM100 talkback programme yesterday.
“No job will be lost in the restructure.”
He said only the ownership was changing, with the PNG Sustainable Development Program’s (PNGSDP) focus now directed at the people’s development and social needs that had been neglected for too long.
He gave his assurance that the Ok Tedi Development Foundation and its good work would continue.
“Our focus will now be the people of Western, especially those in the affected areas,” he said.
“We must all now work with the provincial and local level governments.
“They know the priorities of their people.
“There will no longer be any competing interests.
“We cannot have two or three organisations running parallel projects.
“We must now align all the resources with the priorities of the people.
“PNGSDP or Ok Tedi is not about Sir Mekere or Peter O’Neill. This is about the people and what is rightfully theirs.
“We must make it work for them, not protect our ivory towers,” he said.
All the callers who raised questions with O’Neill on the radio spoke in support of the Government’s move.
A caller from Kiunga said the hospital there was in a very bad state.
He claimed PNGSDP had done nothing about it.
Another caller, John Vaki, said the immunity granted to BHP was wrong and BHP deserved to be sued for the destruction caused to the environment and the livelihood of the people there.
O’Neill said no new mining venture would be approved unless stringent environmental conditions were met.
He said this included the Nautilus project, which was proposing a deep sea mine using advanced technology

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