Australian PM Gillard Backs PNG Gas Plant

(New Matilda, Paddington NSW Australia, 14 May 2013) Julia Gillard visited ExxonMobil's new gas project in PNG on Friday. It's the biggest development ever in the Pacific - and Australia is one of its main financers, writes Luke Fletcher of Jubilee Australia. On Friday the Prime Minister was invited to kick the tyres of the largest development in the history of the Pacific region – Papua New Guinea’s PNG LNG project. She visited the plant not just as Australia’s Prime Minister but also as one of the primary financers of the $19 billion ExxonMobil project. In 2009, through Australia’s export credit agency the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (EFIC), the Federal Government stumped up most of the money for a loan of half a billion US dollars — this is a rarity in EFIC transactions, the vast majority of which occur without injection of direct taxpayer funds (although taxpayers effectively provide a guarantee to EFIC).