29 May 2008

MP in Papua New Guinea says landowners must be quickly informed about LNG deal

7:41 pm on 29 May 2008

An MP in Papua New Guinea's Southern Highlands Province says communication has to be improved to ensure that the eleven billion US dollar liquefied natural gas project is not held up.

The Government announced the deal, to be led by ExxonMobil, last week, but MP, Francis Awesa, says there has been no communication with the landowners.

He says people are looking forward to it and want the scheme, which will pipe gas from Southern Highlands, through Gulf Province, to Port Moresby.

Mr Awesa says a promise of a separate agreement still to come with the landowners is the wrong approach.

"It is too late. They should have informed them what was happening because most of these people are village people and misinformation is very dangerous. You know, they can be helpful, or they can be a hindrance. So what I was saying was, while we support [the LNG scheme], they have to make sure that everybody knows what is the process we are going through now."