PNG Politics is Unpredictable
AFTER adjourning parliament, the government thought it would be safe to continue until 2012.
But PNG is the land of the unexpected and its politics is unpredictable. The URP and NA marriage is cracking after James Marape was appointed Hela Transitional Authority (HTA) chairman.
It was bitter for Governor Anderson Agiru, who just returned from New York after delivering the gas agreement. With Sir Puka Temu out of the way, Sir Michael Somare will now have to contend with Agiru.
With that in mind, two things may happen. NA must now accommodate URP’s demands or face a vote of no-confidence.
Either way, it will be costly for NA. Whatever happens, the Hela people and the LNG project proponents will feel the impact and Agiru and Sir Michael must know that good things like the Hela gas comes from God.
Corruption, hijacking and manipulation are not God’s ways and rewards. Hela sons Agiru and Marape must put Hela’s interest first before politics.
The proposed province and Hela gas is ours and not NA or URP. Last August, William Duma admitted that DPE had yet to conduct landowner identification. This means the UBSA and LBBSA signed are not binding.
Last month, Marape said he wanted the gas revenue locked in but did not clarify where the funds would come from.
He is happy with the K23 million given for Hela province preparation when it is supposed to be given more to get its infrastructure improved before 2012. Then Francis Potape accused Duma of working outside the needs of the Hela people and, as newly appointed minister responsible for assisting the PM on issues relating to the LNG project, he vowed to bring in relevant government officers dealing with LNG matters to Tari to make things easy for landowners.
I do not see any logic how Potape expects the State team to be brought to the project areas after he hijacked the Angore LBBSA. What does he want the state team to do? Clean the mess he created?
The state was supposed to be involved from the onset, even before the LBBSA signing, and this was demanded at Hides and Angore LBBSA forum by John Ipidari, the team leader for Angore UBSA and LBBSA, in the presence of Petroleum and Energy secretary Rendle Rimua and facilitator Michael Nali, Michael Gene and Hela MPs.
But no one took note of it as they thought it was irrelevant but now they are waking up to face the reality.
Experience tells me that if Potape expects the state to clean the mess he created by hijacking the Angore LBBSA, it will be extremely messy. In short, among other issues, Potape must revoke the Angore LBBSA instead of calling on government officers to clean it and the URP-NA split is not good.