13 Feb 2012

Concern about probe of last month's PNG landslide

11:16 am on 13 February 2012

An academic says that the importance of Exxon Mobil's Liquefied Natural Gas project to Papua New Guinea's economy might compromise the need for a comprehensive probe into last month's Tumbi landslide.

PNG's National Disaster Centre has released a report which identifies heavy rainfall as the trigger for the landslide.

The PNG Co-ordinator for the International State Crime Initiative and Lecturer in Criminology at the University of Ulster, Kristian Lasslett, says local concerns about the role of the Tumbi quarry used by the project in the area of the landslide appear to have been dismissed without proper scientific analysis.

"I would speculate that there would be a lot of concerns if a serious investigation is undertaken and there is found to be a degree of negligence on the operator's part with the Tumbi quarry could cause further delays with the project which could obviously have potentially quite significant economic effects on Exxon Mobil."

Kristian Lasslett