Bougainville threatens PNG govt with legal action

1:13 pm on 29 December 2015

The president of Bougainville has told the region's parliament it will take the Papua New Guinea government to court if it continues to fail to meet its financial obligations.

John Momis says many millions of dollars is due to Bougainville as per the peace agreement concluded with PNG in 2001.

In a lengthy statement, Mr Momis says his government estimates that PNG has underpaid Bougainville for the recurrent unconditional grant and owes at least US$33 million dollars, which must be paid immediately.

The president says Bougainville is owed another US$207 million under the Restoration and Development Grant.

Mr Momis says the national tax office is also failing to hand over taxes collected in Bougainville.

He says under the Peace Agreement once Bougainville has achieved a degree of restoration equal to that of the rest of the country, it can start setting and collecting its own taxes.

Mr Momis says he believes that stage has now been achieved and it wants to take over the collection of personal income tax and goods and services tax.

He says the Peace Agreement was a negotiated contract to end war and given effect by PNG constitutional laws.

President Momis says if PNG cannot be trusted to implement the financial arrangements of that agreement, then the ongoing relationship is threatened.

He says if there is no solution by the next joint consultative meeting in February, then court action will follow.

Bougainville readies for election

Bougainville still waiting for funds from Port Moresby Photo: AFP

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