BY KEITH JACKSON
ALL CONSCIENTIOUS READERS of this website (where are you Dexter Bland?) would know that at present in PNG there is a huge and dirty legal battle being waged in Madang Province between landowners and the Chinese-dominated Ramu nickel mine.
The main bone of contention concerns deep sea tailings waste disposal proposed by the mine. But there are other issues that strike deeper into the social and moral fabric of PNG.
The case before the National Court is high profile and got a lot of media in recent times when the original three landowner plaintiffs failed to appear in court and suddenly dropped the case a day or two later. Coercion and bribery have been alleged.
Fortunately, other landowner plaintiffs stepped into the breach with their own concerns and a new case is set for hearing early in 2011 with over 100 plaintiffs to the case.
Tiffany Nonggorr, the PNG-based Australian lawyer and a woman who is withstood the onslaught of personal threat and public derision, is in Melbourne this week and will talk about the case in a seminar at Victoria University.
Tiffany will also discuss issues such as the accountability of the PNG government, the Department of Environment and Conservation and the Mineral Resource Development Company (“the trustee of the people’s resources of PNG”), and the many implications of the case.
The case has already prompted the PNG government to make major amendments to its own Environment Act, a move which sparked huge public debate, demonstrations and outcry by many Papua New Guineans. The Act is now being challenged on the grounds of contravening people’s constitutional rights.
Tiffany Nonggorr will speak at the Victoria University City Campus, 300 Elizabeth Street, City [Level 11, Room 1107] - Thursday 2 December: 6.30-7.30 pm
RSVP and further information from Deb Chapman on 0401091435 or email@example.com