‘Issues still not resolved’

National, Normal

PNG LNG project pipeline Hulia landowners are alleging that certain vital issues were not undertaken by the Department of Petroleum and Energy (DPE), thus giving rise to continuing landowner protests.
The issues raised are social mapping, land demarcation, incorporated land groups and an umbrella pipeline firm.
The landowners want these issues settled before the licence-based benefits sharing agreement (LBBSA) forums for the pipeline areas can proceed.
Beneria Pipeline Umbrella Association chairman Rex Kapa has urged Petroleum and Energy Minister William Duma to peruse the issues and instruct DPE to act accordingly.
“These are important issues that need to be settled,” he said.
“If not, landowners will not be participating meaningfully in this massive project and future problems may arise.
“It’s not that we do not want the project to go ahead, but as landowners we play an equally vital role and the Government must give equal attention to us, just like they are to other partners,” Mr Kapa added.
He said he understood that there were processes in place to achieve results in the project, but he said it seemed the Government had “hijacked” the processes and was not playing by the rules set out in the Oil and Gas Act 1998.
“May I remind the Government that the four issues raised are condition-precedent prior to any LBBSA,” Mr Kapa stressed.