Amended ILG Act makes things harder for landowners

Letters, Normal

The National, Tuesday July 30th, 2013

 THE Lands Department, it appears, is experiencing deeply-rooted corruption from Waigani down to the provinces and LLGs. 

The new land reform laws on registration of incorporated land groups (ILGs) by traditional landowners have become very tough and stringent. 

It was the national government’s initial idea that all customary land ownership be registered in order for the government and investors to bring development. 

This is also the same government that has reformed laws under the new ILG Amendment Act 2009 which now makes it difficult for little traditional owners to register their land. 

Providing birth certificates and the K15-20 fee per head for more than 500 clan members is a lot of money for villagers in remote parts of the country. 

Customary landowners must be very careful because politicians and bureaucrats in Waigani are reforming laws to suit their own selfish plans and desires to monopolise the resource ownership in the country and traditional societies. 

Minister Benny Allan and the Lands Department must not reform laws with lawyers who do not have the heart for the little people. 

Under the new ILG Amendment Act 2009, previous registrations will be revoked, which is ridiculous and dubious. 

This is a call to all God-fearing, Christian lawyers in PNG to defend our traditional customary lands because that is our origin. 

Land ownership in PNG has been a tradition for over 50,000 years before the white men came, but why should we be tied and dragged down by European laws, even after 100 years?

This has made things very difficult because there seems to be two laws; one for the little people who have no access to information, money or power to develop their lands and another for the rich, educated politicians, elites and bureaucrats who influence decisions to benefit their own monopolies. 

I suggest that this be looked into by authorities. 

Abolish all European land acquisition laws and land titles. 

The new amendments on ILG laws must protect existing ILGs as they were incorporated under the previous act and are just as legitimate.

Issues of ILG registrations and customary lands should be fully debated in public forums before they are amended to avoid political and bureaucratic dictation of customary land laws. 


Kande Man