Minister working to review housing project

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By HELEN TARAWA
HOUSING and Urban Development Minister Justin Tkatchenko, pictured, is working with the State solicitor and attorney-general’s office to review the Duran Farm Housing project.
In response to questions regarding the low-cost housing project, he said all the contracts for Duran Farm were being reviewed to ensure that they were legally binding.
“For me, one of the boxes to tick is to clean up Duran Farm once and for all,” the minister said.
“I’m working with the State solicitor and attorney-general’s office to look at all the contracts that were signed over many years, previous governments.
“As you know, we are currently reviewing all the contracts that were signed for Duran Farm with the State solicitor and to ensure that those contracts were legally binding, meaning that the State is obliged to continue with them or to cancel them.
“They will tell me exactly whether these contracts are legally binding or not. If they are, we will re-visit them and work with the contractor.
“If they are not, we will cancel them and the contractor will no longer be part of Duran Farm, simple as that.”
The Duran Farm multimillion housing project was to boost housing development for public servants and residents.
Tkatchenko said on advice, they would advertise expressions of interest for foreign and Papua New Guinean companies that want to assist in building affordable housing in PNG.
“We need to ensure that all the mess that Duran Farm has had over many years is totally cleared and we will re-start properly through proper process that is required,” he said.
“We are currently awaiting the State solicitor to come back to us with all the contracts that were signed over many years.
“Once I get the State solicitor’s advice then we will move forward and start developing Duran Farm.”

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