Landowners demands not met by DPE

National, Normal

JUHA gas field landowners in Southern Highlands are giving the Department of Petroleum and Energy (DPE) two weeks to respond favourably and address some of their outstanding issues before  they go for their licencedbased benefit sharing agreement (LBBSA) forums.
They said if  DPE failed to respond to their demands of paying the business development grants, seed capital and mobilisation funds to them, they would boycott the Juha LBBSA  forum.
About 300 Juha landowners met with DPE’s Juha coordinator Gabriel Kaponen in Port Moresby on Sunday to press these demands.
Juha landowner leaders Stanley Piawi (chairman of Aku clan), Joe Yami (secretary-general of Tokomu clan) and Dickson Tukupi (deputy chairman of Pirali clan) made this call last night after their attempts to get DPE to pay them the money promised for Juha landowners during the BSA forum in May in Kokopo failed.
The landowners leaders said DPE had organised to have them flown to Tari and to Juha for the LBBSA forum today but they would not travel until the money is in their hands.
They said if DPE could find money to pay Papa Lelea landowners in Central province just for “facility area” for the LNG project, they see no reason why they as project landowners should not be paid.