The Joint Panguna Negotiation Committee (JPNCC) has been boosted by the support of eminent businessman and former senior political figure Sir Peter Barter.
Sir Peter has been appointed as the Independent Chair of the Multi Party Trust Fund that administers the funding for JPNCC projects which include social, economic and environmental studies relating to the possible re-opening of the Panguna mine.
After an eight-year absence, Sir Peter was warmly welcomed back to Bougainville by a greeting party including a traditional dance troupe from Takuu Atoll.
“One of the reasons I have chosen to be here today is to see whether or not we can move forward and create an economy, which is needed to make this province truly autonomous,” Sir Peter Barter told the audience at Buka Airport.
“We have no autonomy without an economy.”