Locals dispute Goroka Airport land

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday, June 7th 2011

GOROKA airport landowners are calling on the government to honour the Lands Title Commission’s ruling on their land.
They said that in 2000, the LTC had announced the awards for landowners of Goroka town, including the airport land, but nothing had transpired after 11 years.
The aggrieved land-owners from Faniufa, Kama, Seigu and Kami tribes outlined their grievances at a news conference in Goroka yesterday.
Faniufa spokesman Joseph Hanamo said the government must look into addressing the outstanding ex-gratia payments the landowners from Faniufa, Kami, Seigu and Kama, whose customary land is occupied by Goroka Airport.
He said the government had set a precedence by paying K4 million to landowners of Kavieng Airport, saying they must also be paid as LTC had declared the awards already.
Hanamo said despite the delay, they were prepared to engage in any development projects on the airport, especially the airport fencing project.
Fencing would take place in Goroka (Eastern Highlands), Hoskins (East New Britain), Kavieng New Ireland and Boram (East Sepik).