19 Sep 2013

Former PNG leader wanted more dialogue before Ok Tedi vote

7:12 pm on 19 September 2013

Papua New Guinea's former prime minister Sir Michael Somare has sounded a note of caution about the government's takeover of the Ok Tedi copper and gold mine in Western Province.

Parliament passed amendments to the OK Tedi Mining Agreement on Wednesday which will see the state own 100 percent of the mine, cancelling the PNG Sustainable Development Programme's 63 percent share.

Sir Michael, who is part of the Peter O'Neill government, staged a protest walkout before the vote was taken.

He has warned the move sends the wrong signals to the international community and there should have been more dialogue before any decision.

"I support Mr O'Neill but I don't support him with the idea of us trying to grab something which we never really worked hard for and take it and make it our business. No that is not the view I shared."