23 Aug 2018

Aussie advisors after Bougainvillle's natural resources - MP

10:15 am on 23 August 2018

Australian advisors have flooded Bougainville and are spying and jockeying over its natural resources, an MP in the Bougainville parliament says.

A lake in the pit of the long defunct Panguna mine in Bougainville.

A lake in the pit of the long defunct Panguna mine once run by Bougainville Copper Ltd . Photo: www.travelinspired.co.nz

As next year's independence referendum approaches, Australia had been increasing its presence in Bougainville, MP Joseph Watawi said.

But instead of sending nurses, doctors and engineers, it was sending unneeded advisors, he said.

Joseph Watawi.

Joseph Watawi. Photo: Autonomous Bougainville Government

Australia wanted to play a role in the possible re-emergence of the former Australian owned mining company, Bougainville Copper Ltd (BCL), which sparked the Bougainville crisis, Mr Watawi claimed.

"So rather than Australia trying to get back here under the cover of BCL to re-open the mine, I think it is a fair thing for them to seriously look at how they can provide some form of redress to the people of Bougainville through supporting the current, ongoing reconciliation process," he said.

"That's what I see it is currently lacking."

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