Brought to POM and dumped

National, Normal


A LANDOWNER representative has been killed and two are sick while waiting in Port Moresby for tickets to return home after signing the licence-based benefit sharing agreement (LBBSA).
They are part of about 450 LNG project pipeline landowners from the Southern Highlands province who have been stranded in Port Moresby for seven weeks now after signing the LBBSA.
The landowners are from the pipeline route areas between Angore gas project in Tari to Maroba, formally called Segment 2 which is located in the Hulia local level government council area (LLG) of Komo-Margarima electorate.
Hulia LLG president Eric Yawas, who is also the signatory to the LBBSA, yesterday called on the Department of Petroleum and Energy (DPE) to immediately charter an aircraft and transport the landowners back home to Tari and Moro as life in the city was so hard for most of them.
Due to conflicts back home, DPE had them flown to Port Moresby for the signing.
Landowner leaders Danny Angoea Tatabe (Yarale Tiya clan), Rex Gaba (interim chairman of Beneria Pipeline Landowners Association) and Simon Danny, (interim chairman of Pepohoya Ltd, the landowners’ umbrella company) signed on Dec 6 at the DPE’s PNG Gas project coordination office at Gordon.
Mr Yawas said since the completion of the signing, they have been waiting for their allowances and tickets from DPE to return home.
He said the landowners have bunked up with friends and wantoks in the city after DPE dumped them without any accommodation, transportation, food and other further arrangements for their stay in the city.
He said when they arrived in the city early last month, they were given part allowances of K1,300 each which they had exhausted.
Mr Yawas said in the course of their waiting, one landowner was brutally murdered, allegedly by his tribal enemies in the city, while two elder men had fallen sick and hospitalised at the Port Moresby General Hospital.
He said before the worst happens to other landowners, it was imperative that DPE immediately find money to send them home as the landowners have also become a huge burden to the wantoks they are lodging with in Port Moresby.
Attempts yesterday to contact DPE authorities in Port Moresby for comments, including secretary Rendell Rimua, were unsuccessful.