25 Jun 2005

Bougainville forests minister says he will consult landowners before making decisions

8:09 am on 25 June 2005

One of the Ministers charged with helping develop the economy in the Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville, says he will talk to the landowners ahead of making any forestry commitments.

Taehu Pais is the minister responsible for fisheries, forestry and tourism in the ten person Cabinet sworn in on Thursday.

He says a fisheries study is underway to determine the province's capabilities, while the main tourism possibilities, until the infrastructure is improved, will be cruise ship visits.

Mr Pais says a key element of any forestry development will be to avoid the problems plaguing the industry on the mainland by working closely with the landowners.

"The priority is to seek their opinion and work alongside with them so that the kind of problems that we have in the country, do not come up here."