ENB standing up for landowners


THE East New Britain government will protect the rights and interests of traditional landowners against developers who try to exploit them, an official says.
Deputy provincial administrator (corporate services) Nicholas Larme addressed Baining landowners at the Vunalama Plantation in the Inland Baining Local-Level Government in Gazelle district on Tuesday. Larme said some people, supported by the developers, were creating Incorporated Land Groups (ILGs) to steal land from others.
“Many form Incorporated Land Groups because of genuine reasons. But there are some people who are backed by developers who form ILGs to get land from other people,” he said.
He told the landowners that a lawyer had been engaged to assist them in getting their land back.
“We wrote a letter to the Registrar of ILGs to object to the ILGs concerned. The provincial government has not recognised three ILGs after they caused so many problems,” he said.
A foreign developer with the support of an “illegal” ILG had cleared a piece of land belonging to the people of Inland Baining who had lost their homes, food gardens and natural vegetation. The land was cleared to plant palm oil.
The people of Inland Baining had told the developer to stay out of their land. Landowner spokesperson John Lande said the encroachment by developers on traditional land was a big problem in the area.
“Why is this happening? The company has removed and displaced settlers as well as landowners,” he said.
“We have been invaded by someone else in our own land. We are asking the government to seriously look into this.”
The developer and the ILG representatives did not turn up to a meeting with landowners they were invited to attend.

Leave a Reply