Pay Attention.

This is the sort of thing PNG faces in the future if they persist in their “no interference” policy with the plans of powerful and unscrupulous mining companies.

From the first link above:

Red sludge is only latest Hungarian calamity (news.yahoo.com) The disaster that buried three Hungarian villages in caustic red sludge this week is deepening the gloom of a country gripped by recession, polarization and the near-ubiquitous feeling that its people are doomed to be victims of calamity.

Alumina plants remained active, including the factory outside the village of Kolontar, where the rupture of a wall holding waste sludge dumped up to 184 million gallons (700,000 cubic meters) of highly polluted water and mud onto three villages in about an hour Monday. At least seven people were killed by the caustic muck and hundreds were injured.

 

From the second link:

By passing amendments to the Environment Act, the government has put foreign companies above the law; allowed their commercial interests to trample all over the rights of Papua New Guinea’s traditional landowners; and undermined our democracy by removing the fundamental protection of the separation of powers.

On May 27th the government rushed through Parliament amendments to the Environment Act (see pdf document below) which give to the Secretary of the Department of Conservation new powers to approve activities by mining and petroleum companies without consulting traditional landowners or securing their agreement.

This is a fundamental denial of the traditional rights of landowners but the changes to the law do not end there.

FIRSTLY landowners are also being denied the right to challenge what the government allows mining and petroleum companies to do. The amendments allow the Environment Secretary to approve activities and any such approval is FINAL AND CANNOT BE CHALLENGED IN ANY COURT. So no matter how outrageous or unfair the approval, the people will have no way of challenging it.

SECONDLY, and worse still, the amendments state that when the company carries out the approved activities it cannot be sued, whether in tort or any other law and the activities cannot be an offence and cannot be unlawful.

This means that no matter what harm the company causes to any person or group of persons they will have no recourse to the law – even for an oil spill on the scale of that unfolding right now in the Gulf of Mexico.

These two amendments effectively take away all a citizens traditional rights (rights developed over tens of thousands of years); common law rights (rights that the courts have developed over hundreds of years); and removes any criminal liability.

Companies are effectively being given carte blanche to do what the hell they like and cause as much damage as they want and nobody can do anything to stop it or claim compensation.

One has to ask what kind of a Government would pass such a law?  The answer, plain and simple, is “A corrupt one”  This legislation is made by persons who stand to gain a substantial amount of money into their personal offshore bank account and are prepared to sell the lives of their countrymen, and the environment of their country for the kind of money on offer.  The MPs who support it have succumbed to offers of various kinds, and are also prepared to overlook the consequences of their decision.  Hard to prove of course.  But I have some very reliable contacts.  I believe much of what I heard, because of the circumstances in which the information was gained.

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About Uisce úr

Though I am old with wandering Through hollow lands and hilly lands, I will find out where she has gone, And kiss her lips and take her hands; And walk among long dappled grass, And pluck till time and times are done, The silver apples of the moon, The golden apples of the sun.
This entry was posted in Life, don't talk to me about life!. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Pay Attention.

  1. Pilgrim says:

    Agreed.
    Include clean-up and site remediation in all mining licenses and forbid on-sale of those responsibilities.
    And set tax on extraction of natural resources at 40% of real profit with really pedantic accountants doing the checking to preclude the sort of shenanigans the film industry gets up to.

    Like

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