29 Oct 2014

Jubilee Australia confirms Bougainville report

2:11 pm on 29 October 2014

An NGO, Jubilee Australia, says it stands by its report, Voices of Bougainville, which sparked an uproar in the autonomous Papua New Guinea province.

The report contained the views of 65 people living around the closed Panguna mine, which had been the focus of ten year long civil war.

Don Wiseman has more.

"The Bougainville Government is keen to open the mine to grow its economy and was strongly critical of the report which, if felt, claimed many Bougainvilleans opposed such a move. The NGO's report detailed the worries of people living near the mine and lingering social issues needing to be dealt with. Bougainville's President, John Momis, in a formal letter to Jubilee Australia, complained about the methodology and the conclusions drawn. But the NGO has defended its researchers and stressed the report is based on the opinions of 65 individuals and was not to be considered as the views of all Pangunans or the people of wider Bougainville. It says, in its response to Mr Momis, that it recognises the serious risks in engaging in public discussion on such difficult issues but says there is also a need for informed debate."

An aerial view of Arawa, Bougainville

An aerial view of Arawa, Bougainville Photo: RNZI