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Jubilee Releases Second Report on PNG LNG: 'On Shaky Ground'

Release Date: 09-May-2018

Jubilee Australia releases its new report today, called 'On Shaky Ground: PNG LNG and the Consequences of Development Failure.'

The report lays out the local impacts of the Efic-funded PNG LNG project. It is the second in a series of reports exploring the project and follows the release last month of 'Double or Nothing', a report about the impacts of PNG LNG on the national economy.

On Shaky Ground Report On Shaky Ground Report (1925 KB)
 

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MEDIA RELEASE

EMBARGOED 12.01am Friday 11 May 2018

Increased violence in PNG as a result of Australian government funded project - new report

A new report on the adverse social impacts of a Papua New Guinea Liquefied Natural Gas project will back Australia's assistant trade minister’s call last week for an investigation into the decision to give AU$500 million taxpayer money to the venture.

Jubilee Australia’s new report ‘On Shaky Ground: PNG LNG and the Consequences of Development Failure’ [insert link]is the first independent comprehensive report of the social impacts of the PNG-LNG pipeline since it started operating in 2014.

Summary of findings:

PNG LNG is an Exxon-led project which supplies about 8 million tonnes of LNG a year to Japan, South Korea and China. It is projected to run for 30 years. In 2009, Australia’s Export Credit Agency, Efic lent AU$500 million to the project joint venturers Exxon, Oil Search, Santos and the Government of PNG. Efic’s decision was based on advice from DFAT provided to the then-Minister for Trade, Simon Crean. This is the largest loan ever made by Efic.

PNG activist Lucielle Paru said: “The Huli and all those who have been affected by the PNG-LNG project from Hela Province to Central Province have not benefited. The decision by the leader of the People's National Congress Peter O’Neill to proceed with this project has destroyed PNG’s economy. Peter O’Neill should apologies to the people of PNG. There is a growing call by the landowners in the Hela Province for Peter O’Neill to resign as a result of the mismanagement of the PNG LNG project and non-payment of our royalties.

Report co-author and anthropologist Michael Main said: “During the seven months I spent living with Huli landowners I witnessed the abject development failure of the PNG LNG project. The landowners of the resource remained in conditions of dire poverty and promised development projects did not exist.

“During the construction phase of the project landowners had jobs, families had money, and conflict between clans was minimal. When construction ended and people lost their jobs, money stopped flowing, frustrations built up and violent conflict escalated to catastrophic levels. The devastating earthquake of 26 Februaryhas only compounded the frustrations of the Huli population and lack of development from the project has diminished their capacity to cope with natural disasters.

Report co-author and Executive Director of Jubilee Australia Dr Luke Fletcher said: “Although they have never been released, we know that Efic and DFAT prepared risk analyses of this project before it was approved. It was known that that the project was to happen in an area with a long history of social and often violent conflict, within a system of complex landowner relationships.

“Efic and DFAT either rated the project as low or moderate risk, which was clearly incompetent. Or they rated the project as high risk, and recommended approval anyway, which is scandalous.

“Either way, Efic and DFAT must release all risk analyses at once, and the Assistant Trade Minister should make good on his commitment to a full inquiry into this matter as soon as possible, preferable in the Senate so that all Australians and people of PNG might be privy to it.

This new report follows the publication last month of an economic analysis of the pipeline, Double or Nothing: The Broken Economic Promises of PNG LNG’ by Jubilee Australia.


 

The Australia Institute