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Subject: ‘Gas deal rushed’

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Date Posted: Tue, Aug 26 2008, 09:15:38pm

Why is Puka Temu lying!!!!
Postcourier 26/08/2008
‘Gas deal rushed’

TOP Government legal advisers have revealed that the Govern-ment gave them only 24 hours to read through and approve the 200-page PNG LNG Gas Project Agreement before it was signed.
The advisers and the Attorney-General’s office were given May 21 to provide legal advice and consider the approval of the agreement whch was signed the next day at the Parliament’s State Function room.
This was revealed in an exclusive interview with the Post-Courier yesterday.
A senior government minister (named) said for the first time, he felt “real political pressure” to deliberate on the pact within 24 hours, despite the fact that the Attorney General asked for a month to peruse the document. They also named a senior government minister (name known) as having overwhelming political influence on the whole process.
Two “junior” officers, an officer with the Department of Petroleum and Energy, and an expatriate consultant “who was an expert in the petroleum sector” were flying in and out of PNG trying to fast track the agreement, reportedly without the knowledge of the Attorney General and the State Solicitor.
The minister gave a clear rundown of what happened during the lead-up to the signing.
The revelations also contradicted Deputy Prime Minister Dr Puka Temu’s statement on Sunday that the agreement got legal clearance from the Office of the State Solicitor.
The minister, who did not want to be named due to fear he might suffer retaliation, confirmed that Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare did know about Petromin boss Joshua Kalinoe’s plea for Section 10.2 of the agreement to be amended so that Petromin could be included in the K30 billion LNG project.
Sir Michael has said he was not briefed on Mr Kalinoe’s grievances when asked a few weeks ago.

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