Category Archives: Autonomous Region of Bougainville

K1m boat for B’ville islanders

22/12/ 2017
 Source: Loop PNG

Christmas has come early for the coastal people of Torokina and South Bougainville as they received a boat worth K1 million.

 

 

The boat will make access easier for transporting goods and produce like cocoa and copra between Torokina, South Bougainville and Buka town.

 

The people of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville (AROB), even after 20 years after one of the bloodiest civil wars known in the history of Papua New Guinea, are still picking up rather slowly on the normalcy known throughout the country – like the tradition of celebrating Christmas.

 

Around 20,000 lives were lost, millions of kina worth of properties destroyed and hundreds of millions of kina in revenue lost as a result of the forced closure of the Bougainville Copper Ltd mine.

 

The presentation of the boat is worth celebrating as this is a major burden lifted off for these people who use the Buka passage on a daily basis.

 

 

The other side of the Island, where the main local industry and business operations are often carried out, is only accessible by boat or ferry. This often requires at least a 10-minute cross over from Mainland Buka, from Kokapau.

 

In attendance for the presentation was AROB president John Momis, including other members of the Bougainville Provincial Government.

 

 

During a short speech, president Momis described Bougainvilleans as “proud people who can make a contribution to liberate them from any form of bondage”.

 

The vessel was purchased by South Bougainville Member Timothy Masiu using his electorate’s district services improvement program (DSIP) funds.

 

The boat was bought from businessman Sam Tasion and christened MV Sandyrose Toroka.

Author: Imelda Wavik

O’Neill assures ABG on referendum

12/16/2017 

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has given his word to the Autonomous Bougainville Government and the Nation that the vote for Bougainville’s referendum will go ahead as scheduled on June 15, 2019.

 

He made the commitment during the closing of the Joint Supervisory Body meeting in Port Moresby on Friday (Dec 15).

 

The conclusion of the JSB meeting began with ironing of technical agreements, which then led to a negotiation scenario.

 

After two hours and with both sides satisfied, binding documents were signed.

 

Later in a joint media conference, PM O’Neill announced that at the heart of the meeting was the referendum agenda, particularly the setting up of the referendum transitional committee.

 

“I’m pleased to announce that we have agreed to establish a referendum transitional committee that will manage the process and which questions that will be asked at the referendum for our people of Bougainville to answer,” said O’Neill.

 

He gave his guarantee that the referendum vote would go ahead as scheduled.

 

“I have no issues with the referendum going ahead, given our commitment to the ABG and the ministers and the people of Bougainville.

 

“We have set the date, we just have to agree on the questions we have to put to our people and as president stated, we have to create awareness on what referendum means,” said O’Neill.

 

President John Momis expressed gratitude to the National Government, stating the meeting had brought about some good decisions which were of concern to the ABG.

 

“I’m happy to say that we have come to some very good decisions which were thought not possible.

 

“We have taken some very good measures to deal with transitional issues that could become roadblocks to referendum preparations.

 

“We now have to embark on a massive program of raising awareness not only on Bougainville but also in PNG.”

 

O’Neill confirmed that releasing of government grants was factored into the joint JSB agreement.

 

“We have reached a conclusion about how we can resolve that issue and that is that we will tie it to key projects on Bougainville, particularly on infrastructure.

 

“It is certainly well over K400 million, in addition to that we are certainly committed to more projects on Bougainville, particularly the west coast road which we will be working on the design and costing over the next 6 to 12 months.”

 

An independent person will be selected to chair the newly formed referendum commission.

 

“Both ABG and the National we need to consult with these individuals first, the individual will ensure there is integrity on the referendum process that is going to take place,” said the PM.

Source: Loop PNG

Author: Meredith Kuusa

Panguna work to cost K18.8 billion

Source: The National

CONSTRUCTION of the Panguna mine is estimated to cost US$4-6 billion (K12.5- K18.8 billion).

 
Bougainville Copper Ltd (BCL) secretary Mark Hitchcock said significant tax revenue would be generated in the estimated 25-plus years’ mine life, with operations starting around 2025-26.

 
Hitchcock spoke during the Autonomous Bougainville Government’s (ABG) three-day tax and revenue summit in Buka last week aimed at finding ways to improve the financial outlook for the region and the government’s ability to fund services for its people.

 
Hitchcock was invited to present development of a new Panguna mining project, including its potential revenue and broader economic benefits.

 
Once developed, the mine would generate significant tax revenue over the 25-plus years operational life of the project.

 
The presentation was drawn from an order of magnitude study which was updated late last year.

 
A realistic timeline for the Panguna project will see the mine operational around 2025-26, Hitchcock said, and the potential tax revenue gains had to be viewed as a longer term prospect with no short-term, direct tax generation, although the project’s development and construction period would present income generation opportunities.

 
Hitchcock highlighted the need for certainty in relation to the tax regime that would apply to the project and warned that excessive tax imposts would undermine its viability. “One potential pathway is for the ABG and PNG national government to work towards a joint agreement to provide assurances regarding applicable taxes that would apply over the longterm,” Hitchcock said.

 
In addition to tax revenue, he said the Panguna project would have a wider multiplier effect in terms of economic benefit.

 
“A project of this scale will help stimulate the economy in a multitude of ways in areas such as training and employment, new business opportunities in the supply of goods and services and the provision of new infrastructure to name a few,” he said.

 
Hitchcock congratulated the ABG for holding the tax and revenue summit and said BCL welcomed opportunities to contribute to important policy discussions in Bougainville.

TVET Education Boosted In Bougainville

 

Source: Post-Courier


 

 

Fifty teachers have upgraded their teaching qualifications by participating in an Australian and internationally recognised course at the Bougainville Technical College.

 

 

Speaking at the graduation, Nicola Simpson, Second Secretary (Education) from the Australian High Commission commended the graduates for their commitment to improving vocational and further education in Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.

 

“This graduation is special because it marks an important step forward in strengthening the capacity of the country’s technical schools, business colleges and polytechnics,” Ms Simpson said.

 

The fifty participants include eighteen women, almost one-third of the cohort.

 

 

The Papua New Guinea-Australia partnership strongly endorses gender equity in Papua New Guinea’s education sector because it has proven benefits for individuals, communities and the nation.

Unification Meet Underway In Buka

BY SEBASTIAN HAKALITS

Women of North, Central and South Bougainville have come together in Buka for the Unification Conference that began yesterday with at the Bougainville House of Representatives chamber with the theme of ‘Uniting Bougainville for a free and fair Referendum’.

Before the women could enter the parliament chamber, a customary welcome and cleansing ceremony was conducted with women presenting four pigs and garden produce as a sign of respect to enter the BHoR and showing the true Bougainville way.

Autonomous Bougainville Government Member for North Bougainville Women and Deputy Speaker of the House Francesca Semoso, who led the women, said we the women recognise our ABG parliament and we also recognise our four women members but we must still do it the correct Bougainville way when we are bringing all the women into the chamber.

She said it is a house that women are part and parcel of as women play a very important role in the society but we the women are following the true custom of Bougainville.
“As we are walking in the referendum period we must make sure that we are doing it correctly so that our sons, daughters, and men can see that we the women are showing the true identity of Bougainville,” said Ms Semoso.

Speaker of the BHoR Simon Pentanu said that, given that Bougainville is leading in many aspects of gender of women’s participation in politics, of how women are taking part in the peace process, the unification process and considering all these, he said it was not hard for him to say yes to the women to use the parliament chamber for the unification conference.

Mr Pentanu said the process of unification this week is not that you are coming here to talk now but you women have been in unification even before the ceasefire till today and in some way it is a review in terms of where are we now, in terms of the things we have spoken about, the things that women have discussed in their own groups, in their federation, things that women members have talked about in parliament as members and it is a review because a lot of new things have happened.

The conference runs for this whole week and on Wednesday and Friday, open day activities will be hosted by the women at the Bel Isi Park.
The conference is supported by the United Nations in
Bougainville.

 

http://postcourier.com.pg/unification-meet-underway-buka/

Court halts Panguna signing

By CHARLES MOI
A COURT has issued a restraining order to stop the signing of an agreement between landowners and the Autonomous Bougainville Government regarding the reopening of the Panguna mine.
Justice Ambeng Kandakasi issued the order at the Waigani National Court following an application filed by Philip Miriori, the chairman of the Special Mining Lease Osikaiyang Landowners Incorporated (SMLOLI).
He ordered that the parties to the proposed memorandum of agreement for the redevelopment of the Panguna mine were “forthwith restrained from signing the agreement”.
“If in the event the agreement has already been signed, the parties to that agreement and any person wanting to implement it are forthwith restrained from doing so,” Kandakasi said.
The signing of the agreement would have paved the way for the Bougainville Copper Limited to start work on the mine’s reopening.
The agreement was to have been signed last Friday but was cancelled after women from the area protested.
The court also restrained Lawrence Daveona from acting as the chairman of SMLOLI. The matter will return to court on Friday.
Justice Kandakasi said the order would remain in force unless the parties to the agreement could produce evidence that they had obtained the consent of the more than 500 block holders.

 

http://www.thenational.com.pg/court-halts-panguna-signing/

Two Vehicles to Extend Bougainville Policing Services

Media Release – January 24, 2017

Australia has donated two vehicles to the Bougainville Police Service (BPS) to help extend the reach of law and justice services through North and South Bougainville.

Australian High Commission Counsellor Tim Bryson handed one vehicle over to Senior Sergeant John Popui and First Constable Lucy Nehemiah in Buin. A second vehicle was presented to Inspector Kingsley Lua at Buka Police Station.

The vehicles will be incorporated into the Royal PNG Constabulary fleet to serve prosecution and traffic operations in Buka, and the Family and Sexual Violence Unit in Buin.

“The donation of these vehicles is greatly appreciated,” said RPNGC Assistant Commissioner and Deputy Chief of the BPS, Joanne Clarkson.

“With transport, it will be easier for us to respond to reports of family and sexual violence, and to conduct awareness-raising activities.”

Mr Bryson said that Australia’s key objective in Bougainville, shared with the Government of Papua New Guinea, was stability, which enables economic growth.

“The improved delivery of policing and justice services, which these vehicles will support, is a key enabler of that stability,” said Mr Bryson.

In 2017, in line with the agreement of the PNG Government and Autonomous Bougainville Government, Australia will provide approximately K9 million to support the law and justice sector in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, including initiatives to improve community safety, address family and sexual violence, provide effective law and justice services and strengthen the Bougainville Police Service.

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