Prime Minister Hon. James Marape this morning discussed the profound significance of building and leaving behind lasting legacies in the mining and petroleum sectors by calling on member companies to deliberately involve Papua New Guineans in their operations’ business spin-offs.

The Prime Minister was speaking this morning on National Content to a packed crowd at the opening of the second CANCONEX PNG Resources Summit at the University of Papua New Guinea, hosted by PNG Chamber of Resources and Energy (PNG CORE).

Opening his speech with the Greek Proverb “A society grows when old men (and women) plant trees under whose shade they do not sit”, the Prime Minis- ter went on to appeal to the mining and petroleum companies to “take my people with you” through business spin-offs and enterprises that work at grow- ing local content.

“The government that I lead encourages you to take my people with you by actually including them in your local content, and grow them to own busi- nesses involved in spin-off benefits in your projects.

“That way, you are leaving behind a legacy that promotes local businesses and job creation, and not just paying taxes and giving employment for the local people,” he said.

Naming the Bougainville crisis as an example, PM Marape said the sectors need to learn from the experiences of Panguna mine where landowners asked for a mere two percent share and compensation for environmental damages, which if attended to on time, would have averted the crisis.

“Because no one listened, a problem that could have been resolved, blew out of proportion.

“This is a graphic illustration of the impact caused by a mining project in our country. So when people like me talk with a lot of emotion, it is because I stand here absolutely affected by the downside of mining in Papua New Guinea.

“I appeal to the extractive resource sector and our advisors within the government system to ensure our local people are involved in the projects and their plight is addressed,’’ PM Marape said.

Prime Minister Marape applauded the summit as a place where industry stake- holders including landowners can meet and discuss to find solutions to existing problems and carve a path forward.

He also highlighted to industry players that empowering local communities in business spin-offs also meant securing their projects against the effects of law- lessness in the long run.

“This conversation on local content, landowner and community participation is something the community affairs sections of your companies must address holistically and this also includes learning from the legacy issues of Bougainville.

“Lasting legacies are when we have migrated the people from being ordinary recipients of royalties and equities every now and then, to becoming actual participants in businesses; from being spectators to becoming actual owners of businesses that are directly participating in the spin offs,’’ said PM Marape.