28 Jun 2010

PNG media ready to ignore Government ban on coverage of controversial law change

7:42 pm on 28 June 2010

A senior reporter at Papua New Guinea's Post Courier newspaper says a government edict banning discussion on the amendment to the Environmental Law Act will not stop their coverage of the controversial issue.

The unprecedented edict, from the Justice Minister and Attorney General Ano Pala, says there is to be no more discussion, comment or reference in the media to the recent amendment.

He warns that media coverage of it runs the risk of being in contempt of Supreme Court proceedings in which Madang landowners are challenging a proposed marine tailings system for Ramu nickel mine.

The Post Courier's Chief Court Reporter, Todagia Kelola, says they will ignore the edict if need be.

"We are still trying to understand if it's a good piece of legislation or a bad"

good piece of legislation. When these guys come out to comment on it, there is nothing preventing us from discussing it. The new Attorney General, he doesn't have any power to direct the media nor the police or any other constitutional body on making a statement on this issue.

Todagia Kelola