4 Jun 2010

PNG environmental law changes still provide for protection of landowner rights, says Amet

3:13 pm on 4 June 2010

The Governor of Papua New Guinea's Madang province has denied that landowner rights will be removed under controversial changes to the Environment and Conservation Act.

The opposition, environmentalists and the trade union movement all say the amendments to the Act ,which rules on major resource projects, would prevent law suits being filed against environmental damages caused by resource projects.

But Sir Arnold Amet denies the law takes away basic rights.

"It's not at all the government's intention to deny those rights. What we're seeking to do is ensure that developments are managed without undue interference by court proceedings or busy-bodies, interferers, without the direct impact area peoples being truly interested and represented."

Sir Arnold says the law is aimed at smoothing over cracks in the process of informed consent for resource extraction.