BEN JACKSON | Bougainville 24
In a new year address to Parliament, Dr Momis introduced the budget as one for “consolidating sustainable development though high impact investment” and the reopening of the Panguna mine could be central to this.
“My government believes that an operating Panguna mine will be catalyctical to Bougainville’s economic development, generating much needed revenue to support other sectors of our economy,” Dr Momis said.
“More than 85% of the ABG’s 2014 budget still comes from the national government.
“Until the ABG can raise more of its revenue internally, we will continue to be dictated to by others.
Dr Momis also used the address to discuss the controversy around the Draft Bougainville Mining Bill.
“The Bougainville mining bill is to regulate all mining activities in the region; its objective is not about the Panguna mine,” Dr Momis continued.
“To continue to make blanket statements that the proposed Bougainville Mining Bill or sections of the bill protects Bougainville Copper Limited, as some people continue to assert, is not true.”
The mining bill will undergo further consultation before it is due for debate in Parliament later in the year.