Landowner accuses government of not fulfilling promises

National, Normal

The National – Monday, January 3, 2011


A LANDOWNER from a liquefied natural gas (LNG) project impacted area has accused the government of lying, causing inconveniences and frustration.

Martin Haralu from Komo, Southern Highlands, said acting Prime Minister Sam Abal had assured them three weeks ago, during a seminar in Port Moresby hosted by the Hela Transitional Authority, that all payments of business development grants were to be allocated before the end of the year but this never eventuated.

“We are fed up with the government’s tactic of providing false hopes to divert our attention and making promises that it cannot keep,” Haralu said.

Following a landowners’ meeting at the Unagi oval in Port Moresby last Wednesday, he said they had given a seven-day ultimatum for the developer ExxonMobil to come out clear.

He added that ExxonMobil should clarify how much it had paid to the government to disburse to landowners as business development grants via Vulupindi Haus as figures promised to landowners were usually cut down when actual payout was being made.

“Many genuine landowners were left out while only a selected few, upon what criteria I do not know, received their share and this is not fair,” Haralu said. 

He added that the developer and the government were not aware that they were creating a mess for themselves as closure of the LNG project sites was imminent when the seven-days ultimatum lapsed.