By ISAAC NICHOLAS
THE state has been ordered to pay the
This was outstanding memorandum of agreement (MoA) funds from the Lihir gold mining project owed to the provincial government stretching back 15 years.
On Wednesday, the
Presiding judge Justice Ambeng Kandakasi directed all parties to return to court on Nov 9.
However, he expected the outstanding MoA payments to be settled by Nov 19.
He said the national government had, over the years, held the people of
In welcoming the court decision, Namatanai MP Byron Chan said it was sad that the provincial government had to take the matter to court to be resolved.
“It is a day of mixed feelings.
“It is sad that we have to take the government to court after years of mediation and appeals, including our countless number of questions during parliament sessions.
“We are happy that justice has been served for the people and government of
“We anticipate that the court decision will force the government to honour its outstanding commitments.”
New Ireland Governor Sir Julius Chan said the provincial government had documents to prove that the prime minister had instructed his finance and treasury minister to pay
“Stupidly, I followed this assertion and punch this into the budget and, now, we have a big hole in our budget.”
Sir Julius said he felt sorry for the people of Southern Highlands that if they look closely at the
Meanwhile, government sources revealed that the court decision would impact on the supplementary budget and budget proper to be handed down next month.