PNG Opposition says continues hosting of Mining Conference overseas is meaningless and waste of money
Papua New Guinea's Deputy Opposition Leader, Member for Bulolo and Pangu Pati Leader Honourable Sam Basil is concerned that his District has missed out on participation at the recent Mining & Petroleum Conference being held in Sydney, Australia.
Mr Basil said that the Bulolo District Development Authority (the BDDA) represents Bulolo District which hosts the Hidden Valley Mines and the upcoming Wafi Golpu Gold and Copper Mine.
The BDDA also represents second and third generation of gold miners along the Watut River, the Waria River, the Snake River and the Wau and Bulolo rivers, including hundreds of mining lease operators.
The alluvial miners input into the national coffers stands at K60 to K70m annually, including the Hidden Valley Mines and the upcoming Wafi Golpu Mine.
The name Bulolo is synonymous with mining so where ever there are talks about mining; Bulolo must always be considered by not only being invited but more so being assisted by any government to be part of such high level conferences or meetings.
Bulolo District could not send its delegation to the Sydney conference because the cost would exceed K200,000.00, which the BDDA simply could not afford.
Mr Basil questioned the logic of land owners and project hosts spending huge amounts of funds to travel offshore to go and talk about resources that are under our feet. Investors who are genuine and want to invest in and develop our resources must come to the shores of PNG to discuss how they propose to develop these resources, said Mr Basil.
Millions of Kina in limited development funds are wasted every year by PNG government departments and land owners to attend this meeting when funds could have been spent onshore and more participants and stakeholders within PNG could have attended if it was hosted onshore.
Mr Basil is calling on the president of the Chamber of Mines Greg Anderson to reconsider having future mining conferences back in our own country. If PNG is vying to host such high level events like the APEC meeting in our country, there is really no reason why we cannot host future Mining & Petroleum Conferences in PNG.
On the one hand the government is preaching about tightening the belt and cutting down on unnecessary expenditure but on the other hand, they continue to spend lavishly on such expensive overseas trips. The government is simply not being truthful but continues to lie to the people while putting up a show for the rest of the world when PNG can least afford to.
When Pangu Pati gets into government, Mr Basil will ensure that such unnecessary wastages are trimmed out and all conferences that can be hosted within the country will be hosted in PNG using the facilities we have spent millions of Kina building and setting up in preparation for APEC.