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MELBOURNE, Australia (November 13, 2001 – Radio Australia)---The Chief Executive Officer of Pacific Petroleum, Richard Reddy, says a deal between Nauru and the Australian government aid agency AusAID is severely damaging his business.

Reddy said his company has lost sales worth US$ one million since AusAID began to supply fuel to Nauru in return for the country housing asylum seekers deflected from Australia.

Since that deal was struck, he said Nauru has also stopped making arrears payments of US$ 100,000 a month on an outstanding debt to his company.

"Up until about six weeks ago, we supplied them on a cash up front basis and required that they pay us so much each month on that arrearage, he said, "but business was taken away from us by AusAID.

"When the Afghan refugees landed on Nauru, AusAID started buying the fuel for Nauru and they chose an Australian supplier instead of us.

"AusAID's arrangement with Nauru so far has cost us a great deal of money," Reddy said.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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