Saturday, February 19, 2011

Basil says no to Zibe's proposed forum .

20th February 2011

PRESS - Sam Basil MP

The issue of the damage to the Watut and the people who rely upon it for their very existence and the resulting court case should not be the subject of a publicity-seeking talkfest proposed by Member for Huon Gulf Hon. Sasa Zibe. The question of liability of MMJV for the damage is before the Courts and Minister Zibe’s conduct would be in contempt of Court.

Where was Sasa Zibe when the people he represents in Parliament were crying for help throughout 2009 & 2010 as their river had been destroyed?

Where was he when they were complaining that the fish were dead, that they couldn’t use the river for transport as the overburden from the mine had made the river too shallow?”

Authorities have been signed by landowners of the Lower Watut region, which is in his electorate, for me to represent them in the court case against MMJV as Sasa Zibe did nothing to help them.

Now the mining company is putting the pressure on as the Court case has started, Sasa Zibe is trying to get his people to stop their fight for their rights by the calling of a general forum. The issues he seeks to talk about in the Forum, if dealt with properly, would take weeks to resolve, not days. Sasa Zibe is paying lip service to public consultation and he knows it.
I remind Sasa Zibe of his own Government’s warning of Contempt of Court several months ago through the then Attorney General Ano Pala and the then Governor of Madang Sir Arnold Amet (now Attorney General) to anyone who wished to debate, talk about or protest against the amendments to the Environment Act, as Mr Pala stated that the issue legality of the amendments was before the Courts. They threatened any and every citizen of this country with charges of Contempt of Court if the issues before the Court were discussed in any forum.
I suggest that Sasa Zibe takes his own Attorney General’s advice on this matter and refrain from any discussions concerning the basis of the Court case and should he in fact discuss any of the issues before the Court, I will not hesitate to commence proceedings for Contempt of Court against him, in order to protect the legal rights of the people of the Watut.
It would be also proper for the minister to get his Huon Gulf District JDP&BPC to help Bulolo District JDP&BPC to fund the court case because we have heard their plea and stood in on his behalf.


Hon Sam Basil Mp

In response to;

News Thursday 10th February, 2011
Morobe sets to discuss mining issues through forum
PREPARATIONS are well underway to stage a Morobe Mining Forum in Lae later this month to discuss mining issues affecting the province.
The forum is organised by the Morobe provincial government and is planned to be staged at the PNG University of Technology’s Duncanson Hall.
Morobe MPs including Governor Luther Wenge, government officials, mining officials, company executives, local community members, leaders, scientific organisations and stakeholders will participate.
The purpose of the forum is to gauge views by way of debating and discussing issues concerning mining operations in the province.
Many issues have been raised currently on the operations undertaken by Morobe Mining Joint Venture (MMJV) by affected communities with their outspoken Bulolo MP Sam Basil.
Huon Gulf MP and Minister for Health Sasa Zibe said yesterday that all Morobean MPs, local leaders and interested parties should come together and debate issues ranging from landowners, conservation and environment and benefit sharing agreement.
Mr Zibe said other issues in relation to mining practices employed by developers, regulations and legal frame work would also be discussed at the forum.
“The outcome of this forum is to bring all known and perceived problems and issues to the table and encourage mediation process between all parties through which solutions would be found that concern local landowners, national and provincial government and the developer,” Mr Zibe said.
He added that he decided to propose the forum because he believed that there were workable partnership with investors rather than going through court battles.
“Morobe people and leaders must stand together on this issue. Mining is here to stay but we as a province must lay the ground rules for companies to come and operate,” the minister said.
Mr Zibe said that his people were set to be affected once the Wafi mining which shares the electorate with Bulolo electorate operates.
The minister said he was hopeful that amicable solutions would be found for current dispute between all parties involved in the Morobe Mining Joint Venture (MMJV) through mediation after the debate and forum.
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