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Monitoring the impacts of government and corporate behaviour in communities overseas.

Clarification to article in The Age regarding Jubilee's work in Bougainville

Release Date: 23-Aug-2016

On 21 August 2016 The Age published an article, Rio Tinto's Billion Dollar Mess: 'unprincipled, shameful and evil', noting Jubilee Australia's work in Bougainville. We would like to note a small clarification to an otherwise thoughtful and insightful piece of journalism. 

Dear Editors,

It was heartening to see your publication produce a probing analysis of recent events in Bougainville, through Danniel Flitton's 21 August article Rio Tinto's Billion Dollar Mess: 'unprincipled, shameful and evil'

Our organisation, Jubilee Australia, which was quoted in the article, has been engaging with the Bougainville/Rio Tinto's issue since 2013

In 2014, we published a report, Voices from Bougainville, that presented the collective results of research interviews that we conducted in communities that live near the troubled Panguna mine. One of the questions we asked of these communities was whether they thought future economic development of the island should be based on mining. 

Overwhelmingly, their response was that they wanted to see Bougainville follow other development paths - many mentioned agriculture. In reporting these responses, we only sought to amplify the views of the affected communities, rather than recommend a particular course of action. 

We feel that further study is needed of the relative pros and cons all the economic options that the island might pursue, so the Bougainvillean people might then be in a better decision to weigh all the options and choose their own future. 

Sincerely, 
Luke Fletcher Director, 
Jubilee Australia
luke@jubileeaustralia.org

See Jubilee Australia’s 2014 and 2015 research reports on Bougainville.