THE PNGLNG project impacted area landowners PALO of Porebada, Boera, Papa and Lealea can now breathe a sigh of relief after the Central government, the Department of Provincial and Local Level Government Affairs and Hiri LLG has given recognition to our Hiri Special Purpose Authority.
It has been long years of suspense, gloom and uncertainty for our people who have been left out and ignored in the consultation, disbursement and utilisation of our development goals, development levels and other benefits stipulated in the Kokopo umbrella benefit sharing agreement (UBSA) forum and LBSA Project (HIP) area in 2013.
The LNG plant landowners association (LPLA) as the umbrella association representing the four impacted villages are also relieved that this recognition of the Hiri Special Purpose Authority signifies and gives more effect to LPLA’s status at the legitimate political mouthpiece of the four impacted villages and the other non-impacted villages in Hiri LLG.
While congratulating the Hiri LLG and its Special Purpose Authority directors on their endorsement and the financial support, it must not be forgotten that this recognition did not come easily.
It took years to finally reach the stage since their appointments by their respective village association in 2017 – that is the Rearea Landowners Association Inc, Veadi Koita Association Inc (Papa), Porebada Besena Association Inc and Boera Natuna Heritage Association Inc.
The sacrifices, time and effort spent at a very high cost and should not be undervalued by anyone.
Hence, we appeal to the various groups embroiled in court, challenging the legitimacy of the current duly appointed HSPA to lay down arms and work together to bring our long-awaited development goals to fruition.
We have suffered long enough and these litigious cases will only exacerbate our suffering.
It is to our own ruin that we continue to challenge each other’s legitimacy in the courts.
Bob Kay Steel,
Gabudai Doini Estate,
Long Live LPLA