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Association says mine sharing proposal ‘illegal’

THE people of Western have rejected the sharing proposal of 33 per cent agreed to by Governor Ati Wobiro, with some mine villages and Community Mine Continuation Agreement (CMCA) leaders, a local leader says.
Ok Tedi Mine Impacted Area Association (OTMIAA) president Nick Bunn said it was illegal and not in best interest of the 200,000 people of Western.
Bunn said there was no consultation and community consents and North Fly, Middle Fly and South Fly Open members and District Development Authorities (DDAs) were left out in the negotiations. “What were the criteria used to share the 33 per cent when it as agreed that 12 per cent was allocated to Fly River provincial government, 12 per cent to CMCA communities and 9 per cent to mine villages.”
Bunn said the 33 per cent equity sharing in Ok Tedi approved by the National Executive Council was compensation for the extensive damage done to the livelihood of the people who depend on Fly River for their daily living.
“The river people have long suffered extensive environment harm that has been caused by Ok Tedi mine. There is a lot of harm to the people, their health and their way of life.”
Bunn appealed to Prime Minister Peter O’Neill to listen to the people.
“The association has received petitions from the people from North, Middle and South Fly demanding the Prime Minister immediately put a stop to the proposal by the governor.”
He said the people would not hesitate to go courts to seek orders to stop distribution proposal if a fair, transparent process was not followed.

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