NRI probes land deal


THE National Research Institute has questioned the allocation by the Lands department, of more than 20,000 hectares outside Port Moresby to the Konebada Petroleum Park Authority.
Institute Director Dr Charles Yala said there were questions to be answered by the Lands department, which in February had in a gazette, allocated 23,000 hectares to the authority (KPPA).
The initial plan was for only 200 hectares.
Yala said the institute had a research programme called the Port Moresby North West LNG corridor to look at land development in the area.
“We want the orderly development of this part of Port Moresby,” he said.
We started this project this year to facilitate orderly private sector engagement and development of land in this part of Port Moresby,” he said.
Attempts were made yesterday to get a comment from Minister for Lands and Physical Planning Benny Allan but were not successful.
In the National Gazette dated February 7 this year, the Minister for Lands and Physical Planning declared that more than 23,000 hectares fell within the administrative authority of the KPPA.
A team from the institute comprising Lucy Hamago (research project officer) Belden Endekra (senior research officer) and Logea Nao (research fellow) claimed that there was something wrong with deals on land belonging to the customary landowners of Tatana, Baruni, Roku, Kouderika, Porebada, Boera, Papa and Lealea.
The declared area for the KPPA covers the sea, land, villages (except for Tatana and Baruni), and all the businesses within that declared area.