Papa villagers stop work on LNG wharf building site

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By CLIFFORD FAIPARIK
A GROUP of villagers yesterday stopped work on the construction site of a proposed second Liquefied Natural Gas wharf project in Central, claiming that the land in question was under dispute.
The villagers from Papa ordered Curtain Brothers’ workers to leave the site with their equipment.
The villagers partly own the land where the LNG plant site in Hiri district is located. It also has the LNG port and the facilities for the shipment of LNG to overseas market.
Police who arrived after the villagers had left were told the dispute over the land was before the court.
Spokesman Joseph Baeau said the villagers were upset because while the land ownership issue was being sorted out by the court and Lands department officials, the company came in to clear the land.
“No work should be done while this matter is before the courts,” he said.
He said they were expecting a court decision on the matter later this month.
Meanwhile, attempts to get a comment from Curtain Brothers were unsuccessful.
Lands and Physical Planning Minister Justin Tkatchenko could not be reached for comments too.

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