A new law is being tabled by the Government that could jeopardise the future of PNG’s essential resources industry, as well as its landowners, workers, communities, provincial and local level governments, and the economy.

For many years, the mining and petroleum  industry has made enormous contributions to the growth of our nation, supporting our communities and our people.

But this is being put at risk by proposed changes to the laws that govern the resource industry of Papua New Guinea.

These changes, which will be tabled in tomorrow’s parliamentary session, will cause significant uncertainty for the industry, but also for PNG explorers, landowners, provincial and local level governments, and communities. Yet they have been created by the Government without the necessary steps being taken to understand the wide-reaching impact they will have on PNG’s people, employment and economy.

Only you, the members of the PNG Parliament, can take the steps required to protect our valuable resource industry, landowners and people against the unnecessary uncertainty this change will create.

Failing to do this will see this proposed Organic Law put an end to an era of contribution and investment that has seen PNG grow as a nation and helped its people thrive. It will do this by:

–    Introducing Production Sharing Agreements (PSAs) that have been shown not to work in the mining industry anywhere in the world and will put all future investment at risk;

–    Making it possible for the Government to compulsorily acquire land from landowners that falls under a mining PSA taking away certainty and livelihoods;

–    The establishment of State-Owned-Entities (SOEs) to manage valuable projects that may not have any direct oversight or regulation by Government agencies; and

–    The transfer of ownership of hydrocarbons and minerals from the State to the SOEs.

Changes of this gravity and significance require careful and extensive assessment to protect the interests of our nation and the future investment in our resource industry that enables it to thrive.

The Chamber and the industry requests that:

•   The proposed Organic Law and other amendments to the Mining and Oil and Gas Acts are postponed; and

•   An urgent consultation and dialogue is undertaken with the industry and other stakeholders on the hydrocarbon and minerals policy and legislation.

The Chamber is confident that, with genuine consultation, the Government can support the future of this industry in a fair and sustainable way that will secure the nation-building benefits it creates and the investment it requires to succeed.

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