Friday, July 16, 2010

Madang Timbers goes back to court


MADANG Timbers Limited has filed another law suit against the National Forest Board.
This time the logging company is asking the court to declare that members of the board had failed to perform their statutory duty despite a Supreme Court decision made last year ordering the board to meet and consider Madang Timbers project agreement for the Middle Ramu Block one FMA.
They are also asking the court to order the board to meet within 14 days to consider their project agreement.
In November last year, the Supreme Court had ruled in favour of Madang Timbers Ltd and ordered the National Forest Board to meet and consider Madang Timbers’ draft project agreement as submitted by the Madang Provincial Forest Management Committee.
In an affidavit filed by the secretary of the PNG Forest Board Hakiso So-omba and the board had already met in June and considered the final project management agreement.
During their deliberation they were advised that the decision of the Supreme Court had meant that the board had no power or discretion to consider any other project proponent other than the one recommended by the Madang Provincial Forest Management Committee.
But with the passing of the new Forestry (Amendment) Act 2010 the board can now deal with more than one proponent. In its meeting on that day the board passed nine resolutions including a direction for Madang PMFC to carry out further negotiations with two other proponents, Timbers PNG and Dee Gold Ltd.
Before the Supreme Court ruling in 2009, the National Forest Board had granted Timbers PNG the licence to log the area despite the PMFC’s choice which was Madang Timbers Ltd.
The matter is set to be heard on July 21.

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