10 November 2009


Jubilee Australia has raised concerns that the Australian Government will shortly give approval for its Export Credit Insurance Agency (EFIC) to back the largest business investment project in the Pacific region, the construction of a pipeline from the Southern Highlands and Western Province of Papua New Guinea to Port Moresby.

Whilst the economic benefits of the project are acknowledged there is a real concern that those benefits will not benefit the people of PNG, rather they are likely to "fall down into the black hole of corruption" unless the PNG government signs up to the World Bank-associated Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). The EITI provides a mechanism which enables civil society to keep governments accountable for public spending. So far the PNG government has refused to sign on to the EITI.

Jubilee Australia is urging people to write to the Minister for Trade, Simon Crean, pointing out that as the project now stands, benefits to the local population are likely to be minimal and that the project is likely to have negative social effects
and asking that its support of this project be conditional on the PNG government signing the EITI.

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