28 Aug 2009

Former PNG Prime Minister says vital for landowners to get greater benefit from mining

2:00 pm on 28 August 2009

Papua New Guinea's former Prime Minister Sir Julius Chan says proposed changes to the Mining Act are essential as part of a transformation of wealth for the country's people.

Sir Julius, the Governor of New Ireland, is supporting proposed amendments to the Mining Act 1992 which aim at changing ownership over minerals from the state to landowners.

The Chamber of Mines and Petroleum says the proposed changes mean developers have no guarantee over security of tenure, creating an instability which will scare off investors.

But Sir Julius says that because landowners get so little benefit from mining while the mining companies and government become very rich, things have to change .

"I'd like to see that happen very quickly so we can truly transform this nation into a rich and prosperous people rather than a rich and prosperous state handled by a very corrupt group of people."

Sir Julius Chan