29 May 2012

Report says many left out of PNG's LNG project

3:09 pm on 29 May 2012

A report on the impact of a huge liquified natural gas project in Papua New Guinea's Hela Province says many feel left out of the development and it outlines key issues to be addressed.

The Good Community report, compiled by academics and civil society groups, warns lack of action could lead to conflict.

Don Wiseman has more.

"The lead author of the report is Dr James McIlraith of Otago University's National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies. The report recommends that the developer, Esso Highlands Ltd, and the PNG government put more effort into public awareness and community relations. It calls for public forums and a liaison office in Tari. The report says the government needs to prioritise landowner identification - something it says will need the assistance of the developer. It wants improvements in benefit sharing to ensure accountability and transparency. It advocates training programmes to raise the financial and livelihood skills of Hela residents. The report says the government, church and other development partners should make education a priority. It wants mechanisms to ensure the environment is protected and that human security is improved. The report says collective action should lead to improved human development in Hela for present and future generations."