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Letter to the PM of PNG

Dear Mr. Marape,

I read with interest some time ago (Sydney Morning Herald, 2019/05/30) your interest in reviewing PNGs natural resource wealth, and am interested in how this review is developing.

I have some background in the subject through formal studies in public economics and environmental science, as well as many years of informal studies and advocacy.

In particular, I am interested in the economic and environmental success of those jurisdictions which have applied site-rental approaches and public ownership of resources.

Simplifying, this approach means that the public holds natural resources in trust, and rents out opportunities to others to develop or inhabit as desired. This has the benefits of removing the need for complex taxation systems for public revenues, removing speculative private ownership of natural resources, improving productivity by a effective allocation of resources, and improving environmental protections by ensuring efficient use.

I am prepared to say that this approach is supported by nearly all economists, although few politicians have been attentive to either the facts of the theory.

I make myself available to any further information that may be desired on this matter.

Yours most sincerely,

Lev Lafayette

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