Posted By Staff Reporter
PORT MORESBY:Parliament was told today (Wednesday)leaders continued to mislead themselves with a perception that money was a catalyst for addressing issues the resource owners had been advocating for.
Opposition Leader Don Polye debated it otherwise when arguing on a paper presented by the Prime Minister Peter O’Neill on increasing equity share for resource owners, especially in the Bougainville Copper Mine Limited.
Mr Polye has called on the Prime Minister and his government to learn about the real issues the resource owners have been fighting for.
“They never ask for money. They were talking about their environment and livelihood. Let us learn from the history and guide the future.
“Because President John Momis has come out against the equity share so are we quickly coming up with equity thing here to make him and his people happy? This is not the issue. They are talking about their economy, integral human development and livelihood,” he said.
Even if their resource ownership equity share is increased, he said, integral human development issues will still be outstanding.
“Have we delivered the MOU funds of K100 million annually to the people of Autonomous Region of Bougainville? Let the ABG run and manage its own affairs. Don’t use them like robots from Waigani. Let us talk about their MOU grands which have not been committed to them before talking about equity.
“Let us not do it for them. Let them do it themselves. I don’t see a unity among the ABG MPs in PNG Parliament and the ABG government as the Prime Minister has only resourced the MPs the latter at the expense of the ABG,” said Polye.
Meanwhile, Mr Polye said the resource owners in Hela and Western provinces have not also advocated for the release of their royalties or their equity share.
“No, they haven’t. Money is always there. It is not an issue. They have been fighting about their environment destruction. There is more to it than meets the eyes.
“if we continue to mislead ourselves with money being the solution to all the issues, later we will find out that the problems which we thought we have solved already, are still there,” he said.
He said the future leaders would learn that their leaders today had not solved the real issues but they had only created additional ones for them.
“When we strive for empowerment of our people through resource ownership, we must also address their issues customarily, environmentally and economically. This is the way forward,” he said.
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