Prime Ministers Media Releases

NEC APPROVES REVIEW OF ENVIRONMENTAL AND MINING LAWS ON TAILINGS DISPOSAL

The National Executive Council has approved a final report by the Constitutional and Law Reform Commission (CLRC) to review the Mining Act of 1992 and the Environment Act 2000.

Prime Minister James Marape said the review into the two Acts is to improve the practice in managing and disposing mine tailings to minimize the risk of damage to the environment and the people living within mine areas.

The Review of the Environmental and Mining Laws relating to the Management and Disposal of Tailings by mining companies is to safeguard and protect the lives and the well-being of the people and the environment from pollution and destruction.

Some significant recommendations from the report include a total ban on all riverine tailings disposal in the country.

It further proposes for an amendment to the Mining Act 1992 to provide for a total ban on Riverine Tailings Disposal methods for all future mines in the country.

This method of tailings is only practiced in two countries around the world; Papua New Guinea and Indonesia, he said.

The final report also calls for the amendment to the Mining Act 1992 and the Public Health Act 1973 to include Health Impact Assessments (HIAs) as part of the licensing condition.

One other important outcome is the proposal to create a separate body, independent of the State regulatory bodies, either within the Public Solicitors Office or otherwise, to assist the landowners and the impacted communities in negotiating MOAs and any business engagement plan between the landowners and the developer/proponent and the State.

The proposed specific mining & environment and public health legislations or acts.

NEC APPROVES REVIEW OF ‘EX PARTE PROCEEDINGS’ ACT

The National Executive Council has approved a final report on the review of the Éx Parte Proceedings for tabling in the next sitting of Parliament.

It follows the issuance of a Term of Reference to the Constitutional and Law Reform Commission to review the Ex Parte Proceedings Act in PNG.

Ex Parte is a Latin phrase that means „of the one part, one sided. As such an ex parte proceedings are legal actions brought by one person in the absence of, or without the representation of anther or other parties.

Prime Minister James Marape said the concern at the time when the reference was issued was that courts were granting ex parte orders and that affected individuals and the State in defending itself against such court cases
and it incurred costs.

The review will allow changes to the legislation to ensure all parties in a court case or proceeding are made aware so they can give their side or defend themselves and to allow fairness and justice to prevail.

Prime Minister Marape said the final report with its recommendations is aimed at protecting the State from unwarranted liabilities resulting from ex parte proceedings, without limitting the rights of aggrieved parties.

The recommended proposals aim to strengthen the grounds, circumstances, processes for ex parte proceedings against the State to which both the aggrieved and the courts must observe.

Several amendments to the Claims By And Against the State Act 1996 have been proposed to achieve the above outcomes in the final Constitutional and Law Reform Commission report, yet to be brought before Parliament for endorsement, he said

NEC APPROVES MINISTERIAL STATEMENT ON BOUGAINVILLE REFERENDUM & AFTERMATH ACTIVITIES

The National Executive Council has approved a Ministerial Statement on the Bougainville Referendum and aftermath activities following the outcomes last December, 2019.

It states that the National Parliament will take note of the progress and details of a consultation process that would take place tentatively from 2020 to 2021 and amendments to the National Constitution could be required.

The Referendum outcome on the future of Bougainville was publicly declared on the 11th December, 2019. 

Over 200 000 registered voters voted for two options; Greater Autonomy and Independence.

An overwhelming majority 176,928 people voted for independence whilst only 3, 043 voted for greater autonomy.

A report by the Bougainville Referendum Commission stated the process from enrolment to polling and scrutiny was orderly, peaceful, informed, free of fear and accessible.

The referendum results would have to be ratified by the National Parliament as the National Constitution does not provide for separation or secession of a part of the country.

However, if the National Parliament were to agree to ratify the Referendum outcome in favor of independence, the National Constitution would be amended accordingly.

A consultation will take place between the two governments of PNG and the ABG and the results are to be presented to Parliament for endorsement.

But, if in the event of an unfortunate situation where the two Governments do not agree, the procedures for resolving disputes-such as consultation, mediation, arbitration, and, in the worst case, reference to the courts, will apply.

In the meantime, the Autonomous Bougainville Government will hold its elections in June this year, 2020 to elect members to its House of Representatives

2021 BUDGET TO INCLUDE K35 MILLION FOR OUTSTANDING GOPNG COMPONENT FOR CADIP PROGRAM

Cabinet has recently endorsed the inclusion of K35 million in the 2021 Budget for outstanding Government component for various airport works undertaken under the Civil Aviation Development
Investment Program (CADIP).

The Prime Minister Hon. James Marape, MP said the Minister for Civil Aviation Hon. Lekwa Gure made an emergency request for the K35 million outstanding funding to be made available this year.

The Prime Minister said however, the request is not a budgeted item for 2020. 

Cabinet noted that the request from the Minister is an unbudgeted item and approved the submission in principle, for consideration in the 2021 Budget.

Prime Minister Marape said the CADIP Program provides for; 

(i) Priority improvements to airports and air traffic services infrastructure to ensure compliance with the CASA PNG Civil Aviation Rules (CARS) AND THE International Civil Aviation
Organization (ICAO) Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPS) relating to aviation safety and security standards;

(ii) Upgrade of selected airports to increase capacity to accommodate larger aircraft in response
to growth in air transport; and

(iii) Capacity building and institutional strengthening of the National Airports Corporation (NAC), PNG ASL and CASA PNG.
The program is the largest investment program undertaken by the Government to ensure safe and secure aviation infrastructure across the national airports, he said.


The projects were to be delivered in three tranches, about 11 projects in tranche (all completed), 18 projects in tranche 2 (44% completed) and tranche 3 has 17 projects that commenced in 2017 and
is expected to be completed in 2021. 

Prime Minister Marape said as the program was not included in the 2020 budget, Cabinet has endorsed the Ministers’ for Treasury, National Planning and Civil Aviation to commence discussions
with ADB for a deferment of the payment to next year ( 2021).