//
you're reading...
Australian Current Affairs

Australia’s BHP lashed on ‘colonial attitude’ in Papua New Guinea


Peter O'Neill

Peter O’Neill

The row between Papua New Guinea and BHP Billiton over the Ok Tedi mine heated up yesterday, with Prime Minister Peter O’Neill accusing BHP of having a “colonial era” mentality.

He strongly defended his action two months ago in banning Ross Garnaut from PNG, which triggered the Australian economist’s resignation at the weekend as chairman of the country’s biggest-earning company, Ok Tedi Mining.

Professor Garnaut stepped down in November as chairman of the PNG Sustainable Development Program, the trust to which BHP assigned control of Ok Tedi — whose annual output is about $4.5 billion — when it closed the massive copper and gold mine a decade ago after environmental issues.

Just before his ban, Professor Garnaut had told The Australian, in explaining the success of the program, that “naturally, with such an accumulation of wealth in a poor country, it’s very tempting for political figures to think of better ways of using it right now than putting it into long-term development”.

Last night he told the Australia Network his ban was “a low point for Australian diplomacy generally, a low point for PNG development and a low point for PNG democracy”. He said such “misuse of immigration powers” could introduce “a major new element of sovereign risk”.

Mr O’Neill, whose country’s mining boom is driven largely by $16bn in Australian investment, said yesterday: “Claims that I had blocked the granting or extension of exploration licences (to BHP) because it would not agree with my proposals regarding the determination of the board of PNGSDP are totally and utterly false.”

He said BHP had been done “an enormous favour by the then PNG government and allowed to exit ownership of the Ok Tedi mine without accepting any financial or moral responsibility for the enormous environmental and social damage . . . in the 20 years it operated the mine”.

He said BHP needed to “get over its colonial-era mentality and appreciate that PNG was an independent nation”.

A BHP spokesman responded that the company had established PNGSDP, “an independent company which has provided a lasting legacy for the people of PNG” by ensuring it received all of Ok Tedi’s profits.

A Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokeswoman said: “Our high commissioner has raised the PNG government’s criticisms of Ross Garnaut . . . Ultimately it is for PNG to determine who is permitted to visit that country.”

Source: The Australian “BHP lashed on ‘colonial attitude'”
 

About Craig Hill

Teacher and Writer. Writing has been cited in New York Times, BBC, Fox News, Aljazeera, Philippines Star, South China Morning Post, National Interest, news.com.au, Wikipedia and others.

Discussion

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

If you liked what you just read, click "Subscribe" to become a follower of the Craig Hill site. You will receive an email each time a new post is published.

Join 17,663 other followers

An archive of all my old posts

Follow me on Twitter

Most Recent Posts Post on My Blog About China: China News

China flexes new nuclear sub ahead of Party Congress

China flexes new nuclear sub ahead of Party Congress

For the first time, China has released video footage of its latest Type 094A nuclear-powered ballistic missile sub (SSBN) and Type 093 nuclear attack sub (SSN), a potent show of naval might ahead of China’s 20th Communist Party Congress in October. Chinese state media featured the subs in a training video for Liaoning, China’s first […]

Coronation Of Emperor Xi and the world thereafter

Coronation Of Emperor Xi and the world thereafter

A few days ago, Chinese President Xi Jinping‘s arrest news took social media by storm. The atmosphere was jubilant as if the whole world looked forward to Xi’s exit. The rumor turned out to be fake news; Xi’s third term looks secured. Xi Jinping is all set to snatch the historic third term in the […]

China is coming for your land

China is coming for your land

Drought has plunged water levels to the lowest in China in decades. The temperatures have also soared to record levels, and hydropower plants failed to meet the sharp rise in power demand. However, this is just a glimpse of the worst things to come. Floods, droughts, and record-breaking temperatures would have a catastrophic effect on […]

Chinese drones now almost a daily appearance over Taiwan

Chinese drones now almost a daily appearance over Taiwan

The Chinese military has intensified its drone incursions into the skies above Taiwan with almost daily flights of combat and reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said a People’s Liberation Army (PLA) TB-001 drone was spotted crossing the median line of the Taiwan Strait, the de facto boundary between the island and China’s […]

India says disengagement along disputed area with China to be completed by September 12

India says disengagement along disputed area with China to be completed by September 12

India’s foreign ministry said on Friday that disengagement along a disputed border area with China will be completed by Sept. 12. Both countries began disengaging from the Gogra-Hot Springs border area in the western Himalayas on Thursday, over two years after clashes at the frontier strained diplomatic ties. The disengagement comes ahead of a meeting […]

How to make EVs without China’s supply chain

How to make EVs without China’s supply chain

Two electrifying moves in recent weeks have the potential to ignite electric vehicle demand in the United States. First, Congress passed the Inflation Reduction Act, expanding federal tax rebates for EV purchases. Then California approved rules to ban the sale of new gasoline-powered cars by 2035. The Inflation Reduction Act extends the Obama-era EV tax […]

Anti-India forces: Techniques and agendas exposed

Anti-India forces: Techniques and agendas exposed

In the post-cold war era, India has moved from a policy of non-alignment to a policy of multi-alignment. This means that India has friendly relations with almost all-powerful and developing nations. Today India is carving out a unique path for itself. Such an approach provides prominence and exposes India to the harmful behind-curtain activities by […]

Taiwan’s Kinmen serves as a reminder of China’s aggression

Taiwan’s Kinmen serves as a reminder of China’s aggression

Taiwan’s frontline island of Kinmen was once again in the headlines when President Tsai Ing-wen paid tribute this week to the soldiers and civilians who “operated in solidarity and safeguarded Taiwan” 64 years ago. On Aug. 23, 1958 mainland Chinese troops attacked Kinmen in a key battle that marked the beginning of the Second Taiwan […]

Terrorism: The glue that holds China and Pakistan together 

Terrorism: The glue that holds China and Pakistan together 

The father of communism, Karl Marx, once famously said — “We have no compassion, and we ask no compassion from you. When our turn comes, we shall not make excuses for the terror”. This statement summarises how terrorism and communism go hand in hand. Maoist China alone destroyed between 44.5 to 72 million lives. During […]

‘New normal’ across the Taiwan Strait as China threat looms ever closer

‘New normal’ across the Taiwan Strait as China threat looms ever closer

China is attempting to establish a “new normal” across the Taiwan Strait, eroding self-ruled Taiwan’s territorial control and increasing the threat of a strike with each military sortie, officials and analysts say. Beijing has ramped up military maneuvers in the 110-mile (180-kilometer) wide stretch of water that separates Taiwan from mainland China — and the […]

%d bloggers like this: