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1 Aug 2022

Australian National Contact Point for the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises

Australian National Contact Point (AusNCP) publishes Initial Assessment on complaint concerning PanAust Limited's proposed Frieda River Project

"Initial Assessment: The complaint submitted by Project Sepik and Jubilee Australia Research Centre on behalf of affected Sepik River communities, against PanAust Limited", 25 July 2022


The following observations were made during the Initial Assessment.

The admissibility criteria are sufficiently met for the purposes of Initial Assessment, including the Notifier’s identity and interest in the matter; issues which are material and substantiated; and a link between the Enterprise’s activities and the issues raised in the complaint. There are applicable laws and procedures in the Guidelines and related international standards about the issues raised by the Notifiers.

There are, however, two aspects requiring further attention, to inform the potential and scope of any good offices. These concern the Notifiers' position and proposals within and outside the NCP process, and the environmental impact assessment (EIA) process underway in PNG.

The AusNCP now invites both parties to provide the other with further detail, to inform how any good offices might proceed. Specifically:

the Enterprise could address whether, and how, the concerns raised by the Complainants are being addressed consistently with the Guidelines. In doing so, the Enterprise could usefully refer to the relevant expectations of the Guidelines, OECD due diligence guidances and the existing EIA processes in PNG; and

the Notifiers could confirm that the Complainants wish to genuinely engage in the procedures with a view to finding a solution to the issues raised in accordance with the Guidelines.