LNG landowners welcome response

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday 3rd January 2012

COUNCILLORS and landowners from the gas-rich areas have praised National Planning secretary Dr Peter Gora for clarifying the funding arrangements for infrastructure development grants (IDG) and high impact projects (HIP) for the LNG project.
Speaking during an informal gathering in Port Moresby at the weekend, ward councillors and their president and landowner representatives also praised the national government for recognising the plight of LNG landowners and working towards fixing it.
However, many said it was vital that responsible government entities must properly identify and ensure the memorandum of agreement (MoA) payments were made to licensed areas that were currently active, or operational.
These included Hides PDL1 and PDL7, Gobe PDL4 and PDL5, Kutubu PDL2, Moran PDL5 and PDL6 and parts of Kikori in Gulf.
Komo LLG president Thomas Potape said the explanations by the planning secretary had clarified certain misunderstandings that landowners and their leaders might have on the various funds being committed under the LNG project.
“There are no activities taking place in Juha and Angore and they cannot receive MoA payments.
“Why are they complaining and are being paid?
“The announcement by National Planning Minister Sam Basil to have the IDG and HIP payments made in Mendi to the provincial government must be reconsidered.
“The payments must be made in Komo and given to the host local level government of the project.
“It cannot go to the provincial government.”
The landowners had been waiting for more than three years for their payments since the signing of the umbrella benefits sharing agreement (UBSA) and licenced-based benefits sharing agreement (LBBSA) in Kokopo, East New Bri­tain.