By ABBIE COLLACO
PLANS to pipe fresh mountain river water to Australia may face some opposition from resource owners in two separate areas of Southern Highlands Province.
People who own the water resource from Mendi and Lai rivers have questioned why Australia was interested in piping water from when it had ample river water in its north.
They have further questioned why the Australia was so interested in its PNG's natural resources but not as much in its human resource development.
A spokesman of the group Mr Jei Wai said, according to plans, the fresh water will be also piped parallel to the LNG pipeline to the Gulf and into Australia.
He said Australia has big rivers in Cairns, Brisbane and Townsville that can supply the whole of Queensland and neighboring states for general purposes. Drinking water has to be processed here as a finished product , adding to PNG's exports, he said. He said the set up of the processing plant will allow people can be trained to supervise and can in return creates more jobs for Papua New Guineans and the Government tax can be used to bring in services to the rural communities.
He called on the Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare to stop any Australian interest in piping fresh water from Papua New Guinea .
"We need more exports to strengthen our kina; the more Papua New Guinea exports the stronger our kina becomes."
Mr Wai also called on the National Executive Council to reject the submission of the Australian Government to pipe the Mendi and Lai River water to Australia.