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03 April 2012


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This blog has a good history of healthy baiting and debating and I for one hope that continues. All in good sport.

It would get terribly boring if everyone agreed with each other on the blog.

And I will admit that I've occasionally stretched the truth to get a reaction. It's a very good way of encouraging useful debate. I've always thought that "facts" can get in the way of truth.

You have to be polite about it though. Unsophisticated personal malice just detracts from the debate. It also tells you a lot more about the commentator than their actual comments.

I'm sure poor old Jim has a good reason for his provocative style. He just needs to tone it down a bit to get people to listen to him.

I enjoy the banter and at no time was I intending to imply any person did not have the right or knowledge to comment on one aspect from another.

Simply put I felt there was some misrepresentation. I encourage such open and passionate discussion.

I have since read up on Phil and absolutely Phil is well credentialled to comment on PNG holistically.

I just get a little sense of frustration at times when comments are seemingly made from afar and generalised.

Phil, I will continue to read and comment no fear and I encourage everyone else to do same and I look forward to further posts on a variety of issues.

As it always has been and will continue to be, PNG ensures great passion from all people that come into contact with her.
Keep up the good work Keith, Phil, Alex , et al.

Alex - You really need to tidy up your assumptive skills. As you have implied, Phil is the golden haired boy (who can do no wrong) of this blog.

Personally I think he contributes an enormous amount to this blog, most of which is very accurate, but sometimes the golden haired boy can be wrong.

Nathan appears to be the "on ground" reporter and one tends to believe the "on ground" reporter rather than someone who may have visited the ground some time ago with the best of intentions.

And we must not forget the "writers licence". Most professional writers suffer from it.

Things can get fluid in PNG, to wit the charismatic (six months ago) O'Neill government to now the decidedly un-charismatic O'Neill government of today.

As we have seen in the past, 'Jim' has a particularly nasty turn of phrase. He should improve his frame of mind or face heavier editing in future - KJ

Unfortunately I'm as fallible as anyone else, Alex. One person's interpretation is simply that and may not conform to other people's views. I'd be silly if I claimed to be an expert.

The observations were made outside the fence in the vicinity of the new well pads at a particularly tense time following the landslip.

That said, the normal security on the project is still extraordinary and must be borne out of something akin to paranoia.

I'm sure that Nathan, with his vast experience, doesn't feel threatened by the Huli at all. That might be true of most of the Australians up there as well.

I certainly don't envy him his job in community affairs however - it is a thankless task burdened by a heavyweight company bureaucracy and an inept government that both tend to be selectively deaf.

What is needed on the project, in my humble opinion, are more people like Nathan with long experience in PNG. It is very frustrating to see all those mining companies, in exploration and production, that are making fundamental mistakes in their relationships with landowners.

These mistakes and their downstream ramifications could be alleviated and avoided if the people in charge listened to experienced community affairs people, both expatriate and local.

I've just been working with an exploration company that has got itself into an incredible pickle simply because a pig-headed executive in Australia wouldn't listen to his Papua New Guinean CA people.

It might also be worth noting that the above "article" started life as a simple comment on something else and is not a firm opinion piece on my behalf - it was just something I tossed into the pot.

Hopefully Nathan will continue to have a say on the blog too.

No worries, Nathan. I think you'll find most of the people reading and writing here have a ton of on-ground experience in PNG.

Alex, not questioning his experience, simply the way the facts are reported.

When speaking of objectivity, as someone that has 40 years in-country experience in multiple provinces on multiple sites and having been schooled in-country, I look at things with complete objectivity.

I simply asked what camp Phil was at and now I am asking when was the last time either of you were on the ground in Hides and being a part of the current situation.

I certainly am not pro project nor am I completely naive to the way of the Huli.

The government has to answer questions in relation to all of this and I also challenge anyone to show proof that everyone gets a full body search.

I would also challenge the fact that the expats are paranoid about being attacked.

Yes, in answer to your question, I am on the project and no I deal with CA issues daily and have no need to be worried and in response to your opening question no I do not know Phil.

I certainly do not doubt he has a ton of experience in country as many of us do but it at times is easy to read blogs on a screen from the comfort of Cairns, Brisbane or similar and make assumptions that are not entirely correct as stated in the above.

Trust this clears any confusion as to my post Alex

Been there? Nathan mate, you don't know who Phil is, do you?

From your comment, seems like you might be an expat working for one of the foreign mining companies or service companies on a current project.

Hard to be objective and understand all the issues looking at it from only one perspective.

Luckily for us, the length and depth of Phil's experience of PNG enables him to see things from two or three or more perspectives.

For the record, I've never known Phil to not be entirely correct in the way he portrays Papua New Guinea.

Phil - Not entirely correct in the way you portray the place. Some elements of truth.

You obviously have been there and have seen the actions that have warranted the actions that have been undertaken some of which you describe and some you have embellished, to put it kindly.

What camp were you located at......

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