ALL future mining agreements must be thoroughly negotiated and signed on behalf of the Lihir people, says Nimamar Local Level Government president Stanley Tunut.
Mr Tunut said this in his maiden speech after his official declaration as president elect by senior magistrate Albert Daniels in Lihir last week.
He unseated former deputy governor and incumbent president Ambrose Silul.
Mr Tunut said the Lihir gold project was amongst the first four top lucrative gold mines in the world and therefore, brings to the people of Lihir both positive and negative impacts that are affecting the lives of the ordinary people of Lihir.
He said the need to address these issues were of paramount concerns.
Mr Tunut said the local landowners of the mine have already shared their mining benefits to the 15 wards of the Nimamar local level government through the 30 percent mining royalties.
“And it is therefore critical that this local level government under my leadership will ensure that it’s fair share of the mining royalties is equally distributed through programs and projects all around Lihir,’’ Tunut said.
He said the Compensation Relocation Agreement (CRA) was not only recommended for the local landowners of the mine to benefit from, however it would be a collaborative effort from all 13 ward members to work in line with the tripartite agreement set out by the current government for every single Lihirians to benefit from all mine agreements.
“We will support the tripartite agreement introduced by the New Ireland provincial government that was initially initiated by the current government through Prime Minister James Marape to empower local landowners and the people of Lihir,” Mr Tunut said.
He said he will also implement agriculture livestock and fisheries activities to sustain his people’s livelihood for the future after the lifespan of the mine.
This he said was an important policy that the people must participate in because, “when the life span of the mine comes to an end, people will revert back to the land and sea for survival”.
He also pledged to support SMEs at a wider scale to motivate local businesses to grow their economy on the island.
Mr Tunut said he will also prioritise on infrastructures including the Lihir ring roads and bridges which were components to opening up economic corridors. Electrification project will also be prioritised together with the village development scheme in all wards.
He will also prioritise health,education, churches and maintain law and order on the island, a paramount responsibility that will be addressed with the support from the MP Namatanai Walter Schnaubelt.