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The K800 million (US$374.8 million) Pacific Marine Industrial Zone (PMIZ) or Marine Park as it is known in Madang will bring huge benefits to the locals especially the communities.
The real landowners of Madang have long been deprived of benefits stretching back 20 years ago and now they have an opportunity for a guaranteed income through the Marine Park.
Former Madang Open and Minister for Fisheries Alois Kingsley who engineered this project, for the first time broke his silence over the million kina project.
Kingsley celebrating Independence with his family on Sunday in his home spoke for the first time that he was saddened by moves to stop the project as published in this paper last week.
Sumkar Open member Kevin Fairweather has been vocal against the project claiming the million kina project will bring destruction to the lagoon and Madang fishing.
Kingsley said: “The Project will see Madang become the headquarters of fishing in the Asia and the World as seven canneries will be built to accommodate fishing vessels where they will offload their catches,” Kingsley said.
This move will see that all fish caught will be canned in Madang and exported overseas leaving behind many benefits for the locals.
“From the International frontier, PNG will be the centre for exporting tuna by 2015 and more importantly it will have the capacity through the number of tuna canneries built. Madang will be on the map.
“It will also provide 40,000 to 50,000 jobs locally ranging from casual workers to skilled workers.
“I respect Fairweather as a member of Parliament and his concern for the people of Madang. But he has got this one wrong as there are more positives to this project than the negatives.
“The positives out weigh the negatives that the project will bring,” he said.
He said this project would benefit the Madang people and what Fairweather was claiming was nonsense.
“What destruction is Fairweather claiming – big ships do go and come so to anchor so what’s the difference. His claims are shallow and should not be generalised to spoil what will benefit the people,” he said.
Kingsley is from Madang.
He is the brain behind the establishment of this million kina project 10 years ago when he was the Member for Madang Open.
“I know the “as peles” people of Madang. For too long they have not benefited from anything. Kingsley was referring to the Bel people of Madang.
“Bel people are the forgotten landowners of Madang. They are the true landowners and not the Government and the missions who now have most of the land in Madang,” he said.
The Bel speaking people live along the coast line that stretches from one extreme to the other.
“And that is from the coastline of Raicost all the way to Sareng - northcoast of Madang. The project covers three electorates Sumark, Madang and Raicoast, where the Bel people are situated.
“Fairweather must realise this – Madang coast people have not benefited from any developments or projects to this date.
SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
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