Bougainville President Hon. Ishmael Toroama has expressed great disappointment at several parties who have been misleading the people of Bougainville on the Autonomous Bougainville Government’s proposals to review the 2015 Bougainville Mining Act.
President Toroama made this statement during his maiden address to the Bougainville House of Representatives as the ABG Minister for Mineral and Energy Resources.
President Toroama explained that the selective review of the 2015 Bougainville Mining Act will, as required by law, go through a transparent process which will involve wider stakeholder consultations and will require approvals from the Bougainville Executive Council before any proposed amendments are tabled in Parliament.
“I put on record that current work on amendments stem from Panguna Mine Dialogue consultations and have nothing to do with or any links to Caballus proposals of prior years. Further, there are absolutely no plans or intentions to amend or remove Section 8 which vests mineral ownership with customary landowners. And there are also no proposals to replace landowner consent with Community Government consent”.
President Toroama further expressed that those responsible for fueling such malicious allegations were acting against the interests of Bougainville and were trying to create an environment of instability in the region.
President Toroama also warned that the government will be taking a tough stance against foreign elements who are meddling with the government’s affairs by creating distrust, disunity and instability on Bougainville.
He urged all to consult with relevant ABG authorities to get first-hand information on latest developments and to refrain from resorting to reactions based on misleading information from those with ulterior motives.