4 Jun 2018

Hopes Bougainville talks can resolve critical issues

From , 3:03 pm on 4 June 2018

There are hopes that Bougainville and Papua New Guinea can iron out issues over preparations for the referendum on possible independence when they meet at the end of next week. [JUN 14]

The Joint Supervisory Board or JSB, comprised of both governments, is to meet in Arawa.

The referendum vote is now just a year away but Bougainville continues to complain about Port Moresby not paying the 20 million kina it had committed to pay to allow the Referendum Commission to do its work.

There are also issues over the shareholding in Bougainville Copper that the ABG had expected to be transferred to Bougainville by the national government, but that has not happened.

PNGis also dragging its feet on appointing commissioners to sit on the Referendum Commission, to be chaired by Ireland's Bertie Ahern, and this is holding up work as the Bougainville Minister for Peace Agreement Implementation, Albert Punghau, who explained to Don Wiseman, Bougainville has already appointed its commissioners.

Bougainville's Panguna Copper mine

Bougainville's Panguna Copper mine Photo: Supplied