4 Jun 2010

PNG opposition calls for controversial environmental law to come back to parliament

9:55 am on 4 June 2010

Papua New Guinea's opposition has called on the government to bring controversial changes to the Environment and Conservation Act which were passed last week back to parliament.

The amendment to the Act which rules on major resource projects would prevent law suits being filed against environmental destruction and damages caused by resource projects.

The government is accused of rushing the amendment through without proper consultation.

The opposition's Bart Philemon says the amendment stems from problems government is facing with Basamuk Bay landowners who strongly oppose the creation of a marine disposal system for tailings from the Ramu nickel mine.

"Mining development is important for Papua New Guinea. The last thing that some of us want is to see the Chinese not develop the Ramu nickel (project) in Madang. So we would appeal to the government to hold it back, let us all have a bipartisan approach to it, and come up with something that is acceptable to all parties concerned."