HIDES Petroleum Detention Licence (PDL1) landowners have urged the Government to pay out their K23 million in outstanding commitments in landowners’ equities, royalties and development funds it committed to them.
Hides PDL1 interim general secretary Thomas Hengebe said last Friday the Government had not honoured its commitment of K20 million for development grants, K1 million each in royalties and equities for JP-Karai landowners, Tiku-Tapira and Buta-Lukun landowners for LNG projects before formation of incorporation land group (ILG).
Mr Hengebe said since the landowners had honoured their commitment and supported the Government in ensuring the LNG project was secured, it was only fair the Government kept its ends of the bargain.
Speaking on behalf of PDL 1 landowners, he said when the Government honours its commitment with landowners, it would build their trust and confidence in Government and strengthen relationships and mutual understanding amongst all stakeholders.
It would also help ensure the long-term security of the multi-million kina project.
“The agreement signing in the licence-based benefit agreement (LBBSA) forum between the State and landowners in respective LNG projects areas, had given confidence to foreign investors, despite various outstanding issues yet to be resolved by the Government such as landowners’ equity, royalties and other development benefits.
“Despite these issues, we signed the agreement for the PNG LNG project to proceed and had not let down the State,” he said.
“Through our consent for the project to proceed, the State is obliged to fulfill its outstanding commitments as a condition precedent of the effectiveness of Kokopo benefits sharing agreement and LBBSA undertaken in various LNG project.”
Mr Hengebe reiterated that the State had the responsibility to settle all outstanding commitments including business development grants and other outstanding issues before ILG were done.
He said the landowners signed all the LNG agreements without having done the ILG grouping.