21 Dec 2006

PNG politician Philemon slams forestry sector

4:14 pm on 21 December 2006

Papua New Guinea's former Treasurer, Bart Philemon, has used the launch of his new party to attack the government's handling of the forestry sector.

He says there is a lot of corruption in the country but the most corrupt sector is forestry.

The Post Courier reports that Mr Philemon also told the crowd when launching the New Generation party that the prime minister, Sir Michael Somare, was too weak to intervene in major issues affecting the forestry industry.

He cited the recent cancellation of a workshop in Lae by the forestry minister Patrick Pruaitch as one case where Sir Michael failed to intervene.

Mr Philemon says as a minister he made two submissions to cabinet for an internal audit of the forestry industry but was aggressively argued against by Mr Pruaitch - and the prime minister supported Mr Pruaitch.