27 Nov 2014

PNG's South Fly call for adequate compensation

11:25 am on 27 November 2014

A landowner representative from South Fly in Papua New Guinea's Western province says the environmental ruin caused by the riverine tailings discharge from the OK Tedi mine is worse than ever.

Pastor Steven Bagari says there remains a need for the operators of the mine, now owned by the PNG state, to provide more adequate compensation for long-lasting damage caused to major river systems by tailings discharge over three decades.

Pastor Bagari says annual payments of $US32 in compensation mean nothing compared to the loss of environment and livelihood for tens of thousands of people living around the river.

He says even in 2014 local people are still dying from the pollution of the river and there is a need for a fresh, comprehensive study into the devastation.

"We want a new, scientific report done in South Fly - all over the affected area, covering between the border with Australia in Torres Strait and Papua New Guinea, other side of Western province. It's to be a scientific report done again."

Fly River, Papua New Guinea

Fly River, Papua New Guinea Photo: NASA