23 Nov 2009

PNG unions expect labour law change to aid LNG project

8:15 pm on 23 November 2009

The general secretary of Papua New Guinea's Trade Union Congress says the government may change labour laws in order to bring the huge liquified natural gas project to fruition.

John Paska's comment follows recent indications from the Labour Department that 7,000 jobs on the project reserved for Papua New Guineans may be taken up by foreigners because of a lack of skilled workers.

Mr Paska says that that move may breach rules on the localisation of jobs.

However he says the government is under pressure to ensure the LNG project goes ahead because so much of its planning for PNG's economic future depends on it.

"Quiet frankly, I think they're going to cut a number of rules in order to bring the LNG to fruition in this country. They need to consult with the relevant organisations, including the Trade Union movement, for them to come up to an amicable solution, on a practical level, to some of the problems that may hinder the development of the LNG project; so look at balancing the negative outcomes related to labour."

John Paska