40,000 settlers affected as land sold to private firm

National

MORE than 40,000 settlers in Port Moresby will be affected after the land they live on was acquired by a private company, a lawyer says.
Lawyer Anthony Waira, from Cappollo lawyers representing the settlers, told The National yesterday that the aggrieved settlers were concerned with the manner in which the title of the land was acquired by Nett Holdings Ltd.
Lands and Physical Planning Minister Justin Tkatchenko said yesterday that the matter was under investigation.
“If there are any documentation, please feel free to put it through the complaints and fraud unit,” he said.
“That’s what it’s here for: so that these issues are exposed and addressed straight away and that would help the aggrieved parties.”
Waira said that he would be assisting the settlers to file a class action against the company.
“Most of the people have been settling there for more than 30 to 40 years,” Waira said.
“These are settlers from Wildlife, Morauta 1, 2, 3, 4, 8-Mile, 4-City and parts of Gerehu.
“The total area acquired is 244.290 hectares of land and that is where the airport is now, but it has gone to other potions without anybody knowing.
“People’s lives are already destroyed and affected by the action of that company alone.”
Waira said several government departments would be called as defendants during the proceedings of the case before the Waigani National Court.
“In our proceedings, Department of Lands and Physical Planning, National Capital District Commission, National Airports Cooperation and the State are party to the proceedings.

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