Local leaders in Hela unite, working on bringing peace


CLAN leaders from Benaria in the PNG LNG project area in Hela have decided to work together for peace and progress in the area.
The Mineral Resources Development Company (MRDC) said in a statement that after two days of meeting in Mt Hagen last weekend, the clan leaders after decades of tribal fights decided to forget about the past and start anew. The gas pipeline runs from Hides through Benaria to Gulf, and onto the plant site outside Port Moresby.
Clans owning the land on which the pipeline runs through are entitled to receive royalty and equity payments from the project.
The MRDC opened bank accounts for the clans last year despite difficulties including locating members relocated to other parts of Hela, Western Highlands and the National Capital District.
An election held early this year to appoint a director of the pipeline landowners’ trust company board was disputed.
But the National Court upheld the election of Hopi clan chairman Simon Danny.
Danny said they would work together to restore peace and ensure their benefits were invested in infrastructure projects to benefit everyone.
MRDC managing director and chief executive officer Augustine Mano welcomed the decision.