TIPNG wants to see SABL investigated

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Transparency International PNG hopes to see that the blatant injustice highlighted in the special agriculture business leases (SABL) commission of inquiry report are investigated and appropriate action taken against the perpetrators.
“The SABLs are a national betrayal, a tragedy and news of its cancellation shines some ray of hope for landowners affected by the scheme,” Transparency International said in a statemen
“The commission of inquiry into the SABLs findings produced detailed information of massive corruption, mismanagement and lack of coordination by key agencies including the departments of Lands and Physical Planning, Environment and Conservation, Agriculture and Livestock, Provincial Affairs and local level government, Investment Promotion Authority and the grant for forest clearance authority by the Papua New Guinea Forest Authority.
“The reports stated that the entire land management system in Papua New Guinea was in a mess and recommended that the apecial agriculture business lease process be done away with or a workable policy be formulated on SABL that benefits local landowners.” TIPNG said that back then, the SABL scheme was described by many including the prime minister as “a total failure to landowners” that involved a lot of illegalities.
“It gave great hope, but the apparent lack of urgency by the Government to make sure action was taken on the public information, submissions, findings and recommendations of the SABL Inquiry was frustrating and the prolonged silence about progress was deafening,” it said.
“Now that the Government has made a firm decision to cancel all SABLs, TIPNG calls for the political and administrative will from all departments and organisations responsible for rectifying the issue.”
Over the past five years, commission of inquiry into the SABL was one of the three commission of inquiries – others were Department of Finance and the sinking of MV Rabaul Queen.
The SABL enquiry was set up by then acting Prime Minister Sam Abel.
The inquiry had found anomalies by the enquiry committee and recommended for the cancellation of customary lands being used under SABL.

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