The National, Wednesday 8th May 2013
A GROUP of landowners want the proposed landowner identification process done in the open and not in the bush.
The landowners from Juha PDL 9 in Western and Hela are calling on Department of Petroleum and Energy officials to hold identification process meeting at the Koroba district administration in front of government officers and not somewhere in the bushes.
Chief Lulu Aliawi of the Tuguba Himaya tribe and chairman of Tuguba Himuya incorporated land group said government officers must consider the risks involved when dealing with land issues.
He said the only government station near the Juha project site was Koroba station.
Aliawi said the people living on the other side of Western are part of Koroba.
He said the landowner identification process should be done in the open in front of police, church elders, community leaders, district administrators and land mediators.
He said landowners must be consulted before the department published the date and venue for the meeting.
“We want to inform the team leader of the Juha project Mathew Winza and his team that land ownership is a serious and sensitive issue and therefore they should not dictate where and when to have the meeting.
“I, as a legitimate and recognised landowner that owns 38% of the land as per the ministerial determination of block 1639 and a person recognised by the department of petroleum and energy, want the meeting to take place at Koroba station.
“The people living in Western are part of the council wards in the South Koroba LLG and there is no reason why a meeting should be held in the bushes or elsewhere that would make it difficult for others to attend,” he said.