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04 March 2014

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Yes the problem appears to be self-centeredness and greed. But I also admire few people, who selflessly going out of their way to lead crusades on the need to conserve and preserve the environment, the species of both flora and fauna, and say no to what they know is wrong.

In the end the evil of greed will bring the country to its knees and turn its people against each other. It is already happening!


Sir Hubert Murray's policy of "Papua for the Papuans" got him into many fights with foreigners, mainly Australians in those days, who wished to exploit the country but without having regard to the long-term benefits to the Papuan people.

Sir Hubert once wrote to his brother, "I have found out the reason for the hostility of the Press...that there was a gang of capitalists interested in Papua who want to get rid of me in order to have a free hand with the natives."

Yet Murray's policies ultimately saw PNG reach independence with 97% of its land still in the hands of the traditional owners.

It is a terrible indictment of PNG politics that the country's forests have been openly raped for over 30 years now by foreign interests who have little regard for the long-term benefit to the people.

Yes, Michael, you've spot on - the main problem with PNG today is self-centredness, a well-known sin. Also called greed.

Everybody wants to get rich! They all want material goods - now part of the age of materialism.

I used to take my economic students at Keravat NHS to a wonderful small joinery in Rabaul where the carpenters made all sorts of timber goods, including coffins. Just imagine if these joineries were in every town today and PNG was making wonderful furniture from their magnificent trees.

Timber means sawmills and timberworks and joineries and of course, carpenters. When next in NSW visit Timbertown at Wauchope. I know Australia is not a good example as we have limited forests but we have tried to look after our forests, even though the Europeans exploited them when they first arrived.

We obviously did not do enough to encourage you to preserve your forests. I encouraged Cathy Munagun, one of my Sepik students, to go into forestry and she was doing her PhD at Toronto Canada. The Canadians gave her all the money she needed to buy all the satellite images so she could do a survey of PNG forest resources.She was an expert in satellite image reading.

But, guess what, she was working in the Forestry Department and some of the blokes there, some of her own Sepik wantoks, started blocking what she was doing. So she couldn't complete her work. I wonder why.

Were they in the employ of RH? She had spoken at UN meetings explaining how it is the women of the village, the true farmers who could control the selective logging and decide which trees should be taken and which should be left.

Obviously it is the PNG men who have messed this all up. God forgive them. But God plese wake them up before all the forests are gone for good. They have taken hundreds of years to grow. Surely some can be saved. Surely some man with authority will wake up one day!

I passed through Port Moresby on my way Adelaide - where I'm improving my ability to serve as an Assistant Pig Keeper.

I sensed a disconnection with reality of the people living in Port Moresby and shopping at Vision City.

They have no fucking idea what to do to help their fellow country people. All they want to do is shop.

Until the folk in the bright lights stop allowing themselves to be blinded, the folk in the shadowy rural areas will not get anywhere.

Reciprocation is a hallmark of Melanesian custom, and we can't even do that anymore. We're more fucked up than I thought.

Michael, thank goodness for a response. After months and months of complaints and various NGO's and others screaming for a repeal it took 12 hours for this article to get one response... maybe I allow for the concerned people in the remote sites some leeway over no internet access but I would have thought the vocal paper landowners would have been at least texting. The article is correct that nothing has changed since Tos Barnett almost lost his life bringing this to peoples notice... and this is progress. For what its worth I would have thought that SGS could have come up with something better than 2012 figures... goodness me. But ok lets have a look at these.. K172 million at say an average across the board of K250 per M3 IS 688,00 m3 for the year over 72 SABL and say 15 other forestry logging concessions ..say 87 logging sites.. something like 7,908 M3 per concession about 1 ship each concession for the year or 240 log truck loads for the year or 20 truck loads per month...less than one truck and trailer load per day.... what nonsense... fly over the country and see the log ships tied up, waiting in stream, or off shore... look at the sites and activity from the air.... with all respect SGS your numbers don't gel up with this old time sawmiller... giaman long yu

The ongoing issue of illegal logging taking place in plain site of all stakeholders of the forestry industry in PNG demonstrates beyond a shadow of doubt the complicity and duplicity of government agents in favour of large scale business enterprise, and their exploitation of Papua New Guinea's resources to the disavantage of our people.

That's not even a profound statement.

What I'd rather say is; I bet my left testicle that Peter O'Neill will do nada mucho, absolutamento nada about illegal logging and the SABL's. But if he does then it's because he probably really needs mine.

Call that a safe two-way bet.

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