Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
At my valley is changing film premiere



Download PDFDownload PDF

SPEECH BY THE LINISTLR FOR EXTERNAL TER1

^ TORIES

THE HON. C.E. BARNES, M.P.

AT "MY VALLEY IS CHANGING" FILI:i PRLMIERI

Distinguished guests, Gentlemen.

I welcome you here tonight to the premiere of a new film on an important aspect of the development of Papua and New Guinea.

The film - aptly titled '%1y Valley Is Changing" -was sponsored jointly by the Department of External Territories and Bougainville Copper Pty Ltd and was made by the Commonwealth Film Unit between 1967 and 1970.

It shows how the development of a large copper mining project is changing the landscape of a part of Bougainville' Island and the lives of the. people.

As we sit down tonight in Canberra to see the film, the people who are directly involved in making the project possible - the workers, contractors and mine managers - are also watching the film at Panguna.

When an Administration geologist in 1960 reported the possibilities of a major low-grade copper deposit on Bougainville little did he realise that he would set in train a sequence of events that would bring such dramatic changes to the people on the island and to the Territory as a whole.

The development of the Bougainville Copper Project has been a tremendous effort, underpinned by an expenditure exceeding $350 million. It is a credit for those concerned that the project will be brought to fruition on schedule.

Despite considerable physical problems, vividly depicted in this film, the project will be producing copper concentrates in a little over 18 months time.

This has been a major engineering enterprise and the project itself ranks among the largest mining enterprises in the world. Already the effects of the project are being felt throughout the Territory's economy.

The investment taking place at Bougainville is already making a substantial contribution to the growth of the Territory economy. It is expected that the copper project will also strengthen the economy indirectly by encouraging the expansion and diversification of other industries in the Territory. This expansion has been accompanied by an increasing degree of indigenous participation in the economy.

/...2

2.

The Bougainville Copper Project offers very substantial benefits to the Territory as a whole. These will include:

• jobs for more than 2,500 New Guineans; • a township of over 10,000 people; • a $2 million training programme for indigenous people;

• revenue to the Administration in the first 10 years of operation is likely to exceed $400m; • after 1972/73 a doubling of Territory exports by adding `100 million a year.

While the development of the copper deposits is being financed primarily by private enterprise, the Administration is spending substantial amounts on the development of a townsite at Arawa and on the provision of infrastructure such as roads and telecommunications. Expenditure by the Administration during

1970-71 is expected to exceed $17m and total expenditure on the project is likely to be of the order of $46m. In addition the Administration has taken up on behalf of the people of the Terr-itory a 20% equity interest in the project at a cost of $25m.

The Australian Government has agreed to provide special loan funds to assist with the financing of Administration expend-iture on the project. Loans approved to date total $23.6m.

A project of such magnitude will undoubtedly transform both the economic base of the Territory and its future prospects, enabling it to take a significant step towards economic self-reliance.

The Bougainville Copper Project has been undertaken carefully and with concern for the social structure of the people of Bougainville. Inr.,-.rlany respects it is their project. What you will see in this film tonight is how the project is in a dramatic way lifting the people of Bougainville from a simple subsistence

existence into a world of modern technology.

An important aspect of the scheme has been the extensive indigenous training programme to help the Territory's own people become an integral part of this development and to share in its large scale benefits. When the mine comes into production and the permanent work force has been established most of them will be Papuans and New Guineans.

An interesting part of this training programme concerns the future operation of the 100-ton trucks which will carry the copper ore. These trucks - giant pieces of equipment used for the first time in the southern hemisphere will be operated entirely by indigenous drivers. The training programme now under way will ensure that the permanent driver pool will be comprised entirely of Papuans and New Guineans.

It is the policy of the Government and of course the policy of the company that there will continue to be maximum indigenous participation and involvement in the project, whether directly related to working of the mine or in other developments

/...3

3•

such as business and commercial enterprises. Vigorous efforts are now being made to ensure that Papuans and New Guineans become involved in the ownership and operation of such enterprises.

I think the film will speak for itself and I hope you enjoy it.

After the screening, I would be pleased if you would join me in refreshments