Momote landowner row delays royalty payments

National, Normal

The National, Wednesday 22nd August 2012

ONGOING disputes over landowner rights for the land where Momote Airport in Manus sits have hindered the progress of royalty payments from the National Airports Corporation, landowner spokeswoman Tracey Tiran said yesterday.
Tiran pleaded for peace among her people and between all clans concerned.
“Eight million kina is a lot of money and can be shared fairly.
“Greed is going hurt us if we go on with the dispute.
“The landowners of Momote Airport must cooperate with NAC to benefit from its royalties,” she said.
Several clans have given documentations to the corporation but that has not completely satisfied it, resulting in the non-payment of royalties to date.
“Our forefathers offered our land for development to benefit Manus and we too must have the heart to consider everyone else.
“It is time we work together to receive what is owed to us and ensure that our older generation benefit before they see their end.”
Tiran said it was time to look at the real issues and those were the details of previous beneficiaries.
She also believed Governor Charlie Benjamin would work with the landowners and it was important that they allowed him to take the lead on the issue and that of housing asylum seekers.
“While the proposed land for the asylum seekers arrangement could be customary land, we should not restrict and confine our discussions to these boundaries only, but rather explore the possibility of registering our land using government attention while we have it, for the benefit of our people.”