Government move on land claims praised


THE Government is applauded for it’s efforts to put a stop to paper ILGs sprouting up in resource development areas and places like Port Moresby to fraudulently lay claims to other people’s land and deal with the land as customary landowners.
This is evident in Port Moresby and resource development areas.
How can the Government protect the Motu-Koitabu, Koiari and other customary landowners from these unscrupulous people who, most times, are well connected and with money to spend?
The Government needs to go one step further and state categorically that all ILGs whose legal status have not been clearly established or not compliant with the 2009 amendments cannot enter into any discussions, deals and agreements associated with customary lands until they do.
In Port Moresby, we can start by getting the customary landowners to register their ILGs and all the customary land.
All non-town sub-leases (TSLs) should be re-negotiated and granted by an ILG and not individuals or agents.
Every indigenous PNG citizen is born into a family that belongs to a clan and that clan has customary land.
The land embodies everything to a Papua New Guinean.
Their customs, legends, dances and their whole being as distinct persons is identified with their land. They will already know where their customary land is.
Others around them will also know who they are and what tribe they belong to.
It will not take 10 years for a Koiari man to know where his land is at Sogeri as it is part of his being, but the son of a labourer from outside who settled there will not have one iota of an idea about it.
However, since he was born there and knows nothing else, he might think that he has a right to the land his father made a garden on and claim that land.
Compliance to the law is immediate for everyone from March 1, 2012. Illegal claimants and ILGs cannot be allowed to continue to deal with other people’s property and consume the benefits during this transition period.
This is common sense, otherwise who will provide the restitution for the resources that might be consumed by these unscrupulous people?
Minister, clarification is required to ensure all understand the right interpretation of the law.

Native and Customary
Port Moresby

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