Good 360
MEDIA, JOBS & RESOURCES FOR THE COMMON GOOD
NEWS  | 

NGOs Warn of Major Challenges Over LNG Project in PNG


Wednesday, 30th May 2012 at 1:29 pm
Staff Reporter
A new report on the impacts of the multi-billion dollar Liquefied Natural Gas Project in Papua New Guinea highlights achievements in addressing social change but warns of continuing major community concerns, according to a coalition of NGOs.

Wednesday, 30th May 2012
at 1:29 pm
Staff Reporter


1 Comments


FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

 Print
NGOs Warn of Major Challenges Over LNG Project in PNG
Wednesday, 30th May 2012 at 1:29 pm

A new report on the impacts of the multi-billion dollar Liquefied Natural Gas Project in Papua New Guinea highlights achievements in addressing social change but warns of continuing major community concerns, according to a coalition of NGOs.

The report, The Community Good – Examining the Influence of the PNG LNG Project in the Hela Region of Papua New Guinea – was launched in Canberra by the Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs, Richard Marles.

The report finds that, although the project has boosted the local economy through employment, the project is fuelling community tensions because of inadequate community awareness-raising about the project, and a belief that the process of landowner identification is flawed.

The Report says there is also community concern about how project benefits will be shared.

At the same time, the report notes the potential for resolution through constructive stakeholder dialogue.

The Liquefied Natural Gas Project (LNGP) will extract natural gas from the Hela region in the Highlands, condition and send it to the coast for liquefaction before exporting the gas to overseas markets.

The initial construction phase of the LNGP began in 2010, with its completion expected in 2014.

ChildFund Australia’s International Programs Director Mark McPeak said this report was an important reminder that while large-scale resource-extraction projects could deliver economic development benefits, it was vital that they also resulted in enduring improvements to human well-being.

“This was not always an easy task, but was certainly possible,” McPeak said.

“Throughout this research, the voices of the people of Hela Province can be heard – loud and clear.

“We hope that decision-makers give proper consideration to this important study to ensure that benefits from the LNG project are maximised for all citizens of Papua New Guinea, particularly those communities in areas where the impact of the LNGP will be the greatest.”

Key findings include:

  • Inadequate awareness raising about the project and dissatisfaction with the information conveyed
  • Lack of comprehensive social mapping and landowner identification, meaning some legitimate landowners have not been identified and therefore will miss out on project benefits
  • Whilst there have been efforts to maximise opportunities for business and employment, a poor process for assigning business development grants has resulted in accusations of misappropriation and litigation in the courts
  • Cash 'windfalls' received by families are quickly spent. Some argue this is leading to increased family breakdowns and social problems, while others recognise the positive impact they were having on many people's lives
  • Teachers and healthcare workers are leaving to work for the LNGP, stretching resources in the community
  • While the contribution of the LNGP and increased police presence has led to a reduction in serious crime, there is concern about increases in petty crime and other forms of criminality, with more people feeling unsafe since the LNGP arrived
  • Issues regarding resettlement of people include unhappiness with their new locality, and problems with the distribution and management of large payments in the absence of proper financial guidance and banking facilities
  • While the LNGP has brought optimism to the area, there is fear the situation will deteriorate into conflict, especially if landowner issues are not resolved satisfactorily

UnitingWorld National Director Kerry Enright said the Hela region presented especially challenging circumstances, with the potential to increase social tensions.

“While the company and government have made a considerable contribution, there are widespread concerns about transferable skills and the sustainability of business and employment in the absence of the heightened needs of the LNGP construction period,” Enright said.

“We need to keep working together to resolve these.”

Oxfam Australia's Executive Director Andrew Hewett said the fact that the Australian Government was supporting the project to the tune of $350 million meant it had a responsibility to ensure that the project did not cause harm to local people, and it should work with others to remedy any issues.

“The billions of dollars of revenue from the PNG LNG project should guarantee that all Papua New Guineans can enjoy access to essential health services, decent education, sustainable livelihoods and safe communities,” Hewett said.

“Sadly the history of resource development in PNG provides no such guarantee.

“The Australian Government has an opportunity to work with the Papua New Guinea Government, and other stakeholders, to ensure the PNG LNG project is a blessing, not a curse.”

The report is a joint research project conducted by Oxfam, ChildFund Australia, Jubilee Australia, Melanesian Institute, UnitingWorld, PNG Church Partnership Program, and the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Otago.

 



FEATURED SUPPLIERS


NGO Recruitment is Australia’s not-for-profit sector recru...

NGO Recruitment

Helping the helpers fund their mission…...

FrontStream Pty Ltd (FrontStream AsiaPacific)

Yes we’re lawyers, but we do a lot more....

Moores

Brennan IT helps not-for-profit (NFP) organisations drive gr...

Brennan IT

More Suppliers


YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Charity Uses Virtual Reality Film to Take Fundraising to the Next Level

Rachel McFadden

Monday, 26th June 2017 at 4:12 pm

Blueprint for Australia’s Response to Global Refugee Crisis

Rachel McFadden

Wednesday, 21st June 2017 at 1:02 pm

Facts to Close the Gap

Wendy Williams

Wednesday, 15th March 2017 at 5:04 pm

$2M Grant for Technology Against Poverty

Wendy Williams

Friday, 17th February 2017 at 4:42 pm

POPULAR

Red Cross Moves to Wage-Based Fundraising Model

Lina Caneva

Thursday, 16th November 2017 at 8:30 am

Concerns Raised Over New ACNC Board Appointments

Luke Michael

Monday, 20th November 2017 at 2:28 pm

Disability Advocacy Group Fights to Restore State Funding

Luke Michael

Thursday, 9th November 2017 at 8:37 am

New Same-Sex Marriage Bill Looks to Protect Faith-Based Charities

Luke Michael

Monday, 13th November 2017 at 5:25 pm

One Comment

  • Timothy Gilbert Timothy Gilbert says:

    Should there be any possible assisstance be given to any community who are organised and involve in activities to develop themselves in terms of poverty reduction and serviced with basic services at the grassroot level, please me be informed.

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Good 360
pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook

The social sector's most essential news coverage. Delivered free to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

You have Successfully Subscribed!