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Friends of the Earth-Bali Wants Government Port Developer to Come-Clean on Benoa Development Plans

Friends of the Earth -Bali’s (Walhi-Bali) initial efforts to legally compel the Indonesian Ports III Corporation (Pelindo III) to disclose information in connection with the large-scale reclamation of the Port of Benoa were put on hold, at least temporarily, at a public disclosure hearing held on Tuesday, January 8, 2019, at the Provincial Information Commission (KIP) in Denpasar when the proceeding were adjourned and the representative for Pelindo III ordered to return with a formal power of attorney.

As reported by Balipost.com, the chief jurist at the Provincial Information Office (KIP-Bali) hearing, Agus Astapa, ordered Mohd. Yogi, representing Pelindo III, to return to the forum at a later date with the required letters proving he has the legal right to represent the government-owned port management company.

Yogi was ordered to return to the next session set for Thursday, January 15, 2019, with official letters from Pelindo III authorizing him to represent the Benoa Bay Ports Manager Pelindo III.

Agus Astapa outlined that the proceeding brought by Walhi-Bali is seeking information in connection with the massive development of a new port, much of it on reclaimed land. Walhi-Bali is asking for information and clarification in six areas, namely: 1) The location permit allowing reclamation by Pelindo III – Benoa; 2) The operational permit for the development; 3) the framework of the development work referenced to an approved environmental impact study (AMDAL); 4) the actual environmental management plan for the Port; 5) the executive summary detailing reclamation work at the Port of Benoa; and 6) copies of the environmental permits for the reclamation and development being undertaken by Pelindo III – Benoa.

On August 28, 2018, Walhi-Bali sent a formal request for information to the general manager of Pelindo III in Benoa (No.10/ED/WALHI-BALI/IX/2018) requesting public information on the port’s development.

Due to the lack of any formal response, on October 16, 2018 Walhi-Bali sent another letter to Pelindo III stating their dissatisfaction with the seeming refusal of the Port Authority to meet its legal obligation to answer a reasonable request for public information. On December 10, 2018, and still without a response from Pelindo III-Benoa, Walhi-Bali filed a formal request for information with KIP-Bali.

Based on the information provided by Walhi-Bali, KIP convened a mediation sessions on Tuesday, January 8, 2019, where it was determined that the representative from Pelindo III – Benoa had failed to bring the necessary documents authorizing him to speak on behalf of his employers. The Pelindo III represent assured KIP he would return with the proper documents at the following week’s mediation session.

The KIP official reminded all in attendance that every citizen of Indonesia is entitled to public information if such a request is accompanied by an explanation on why the information is being sought.

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