Not enough lawyers to hear reviews, says Amet

National, Normal

The National, Thursday, May 26th 2011

LACK of capacity is one of the reasons for the delay to mining review hearings, Attorney-General and Justice Minister Sir Arnold Amet told parliament yesterday.
Sir Arnold said the department had to remove private lawyers doing the job as it was too costly and the work would now be done in-house.
He said this in response to questions from Kainantu MP Sai Sailon Beseo over the Kainantu mine public hearing.
“It is understood that the national government has allocated funds to the National Land Titles Commission to fast-track hearing on land issues affecting mining impact areas.
“In most mining impact areas, so many claimants fight over land ownership and these fuels desolation and upheaval, and even results in closure of mining operations.”
Beseo said these were sensitive issues “when we talk about native land being passed from generation to generation, therefore, the Land Titles Commission must take holistic action to address these issues before developing mines”.
“For the Kainantu mining project, land investigation and hearing were conducted in 2008, affirming various landowners as claimants of the impact area.
“However, other disgruntled groups then filed an appeal case to review the hearing.”