The National, Tuesday July 9th, 2013
PROVISIONS of the Land Act are not responsive to change in relation to the allocation of land, resulting in people waiting a long time to get their titles, Lands and Physical Planning Department secretary Romilly Kila Pat said last Friday.
Speaking during the opening of the New Guinea Islands regional Lands and Physical Planning office in Kokopo, he said this was why it was pleasing to note that the Land Act review would go before parliament for debate this month.
“We have issues with the land allocation process where a lot of the provisions in the Land Act are not responsive to change,” he said
“When people come in to make application for land they wait almost one year and six months to get a title.
“For the investors this is not a very good environment in which they want to do business.”
Kila Pat said even the ordinary people who wanted to have access to land titles to build homes, start small business and everything that had to do with land had their plans delayed because the law was not responsive, resulting in people waiting for two years to get a genuine title.
He said the department was serious at making these changes so that people could come forward and meaningfully participate in the development process.
Kila Pat said another reform the department had completed was its automated land titling system to avoid issues of double allocation, duplicate titles and that would be extended to the regional offices so people could access land services. It will be launched in November.
Lands Minister Benny Allan said, with the automated system, all manual records would be transferred to a computer and would be more accessible.
He said, once in place, the system would prevent chronic problems of tampering with official land title records and those attempting to double allocate land would find it difficult to do so.