Bougainville Consultancies earn controversial Australian advisor a small fortune
Former BRA Commander, Sam Koana, and Bougainvillean activist, Simon Ekanda, recently raised concerns over the involvement of Australian National University academic, Anthony Regan, in the drafting of Bougainville’s mining policy.
According to Ekanda:
“Bougainville mining policy does not belong to Regan, BCL (Bougainville Copper Ltd) or the Australians, it belongs to the resource owners and the people of Bougainville”.
The policy being drafted by Regan, it is feared, will pave the way for the return of Bougainville Copper Limited, following a decade long war to shut the Panguna mine down.
If Regan’s involvement gets some Bougainvilleans hot under the collar, wait till they hear about the amount he is being paid by AUSAID out of PNG’s aid budget; often referred to as boomerang aid (you can see why below).
While transparency data is difficult to locate, snippets of information acquired from AUSAID and the Austender database, suggest large payments are being made to Regan.
|Provincial Government Reform||
30/04/1997 – 31/7/1997
|Assistance to the Department of Provincial and Local Affairs||
27/11/1997 – 30/4/1998
|Technical Assistance – Bougainville Transitional Government||
18/5/1998 – 30/6/1999
21/10/07 – 30/11/07
Given that the final payment listed here mirrors Regan’s current duties as legal advisor to the Autonomous Bougainville Government, it might be reasonably estimated that over a 12 month period Regan could be earning somewhere in the vicinity of $500,000 or K1.1 million for his legal services. This is presumably in addition to his annual salary at ANU.
Over to you Sam.