By PATRICIA KEAMO
CENTRAL Governor Robert Agarobe has told the National Capital District Commission to stop its “invasion” of land traditionally owned by his people.
Agarobe said the “ongoing invasion currently orchestrated by the NCD over land that belonged to Central is an act of aggression over customary land rights and the sovereignty” of the people of the province.
Agarobe told a consultation workshop in Port Moresby yesterday on the national sustainable land use policy that the city’s “exponential socio-economic growth and uncontrolled physical expansion” was a major concern for the people of Central “because of the coexistence of the two provinces”.
“These actions are contrary to the intentions of this policy,” he said.
“Political greed and power must not overtake the potential of this policy towards a greater development agenda.”
Agarobe reminded those in authority in Port Moresby that much of the land in the city came under the custody of the Motu Koitabu people.
He said any land use planning or sustainable land use must reflect and benefit the indigenous Motu Koitabuans who were from Central.
His statement came in the wake of the eviction of families at 14-Mile on the border of the two provinces to make way for a K100 million road project by City Hall.
NCD Governor Powes Parkop said yesterday the land in question at 14-Mile was acquired by City Hall for development lawfully and that the tittle had been confirmed by the National Court.
“As a legal entity created by Act of Parliament, NCDC has a right to acquire, hold and dispose of properties including land,” he said.
“We have the legal right to acquire land lawfully anywhere in PNG including Central.”
Agarobe told the workshop that sustainable land use policies must be done at the provincial level.
He said any sustainable land use policies should be done at the provincial level based on individual provincial issues and economic aspirations towards development.
Minister for Lands and Physical Planning John Rosso agreed with Agarobe saying some of the functions of land use should be given to the provinces.
By PATRICIA KEAMO