Step closer to royalties


The Landowners of petroleum development licence (PDL) 1 and PDL 7 at the PNG LNG project site of Hides, in Hela, will now be able to receive their benefits.
Petroleum Minister Dr Fabian Pok, when signing the ministerial determination in Hela on Saturday, said that those royalties and equities had been there for over 10 years.
He said landowners completed the identification process last month, reviewed it and agreed on which landowner groups were within the PDL areas.
That decision led to the ministerial determination.
“The next process is to gazette it,” Pok said.
“I’ve talked to the Government Printer already to have these printed today.
“By Wednesday, my team will be back to distribute to the people.
“What has been gazetted is what they have given us.
“After gazetting, there’s 28 days where anybody who’s got grievances can bring it forward within that period, and we will address it.”
Pok said once everyone accepted that clan-vetting had been completed after 28
days, Mineral Resources Development Company would:
lOpen accounts for people in the PDL area to benefit from their royalties and equities that had been sitting in the Central Bank for more than 10 years; and,
lConduct elections for leaders to represent them in the landowner company in PDL 1 and 7.
“Once the accounts have been opened, 40 per cent will be distributed in cash, 30 per cent will go in for infrastructure developments and another 30 per cent will be invested for the future generation,” Pok said.
He said the Electoral Commission would be involved in conducting elections for clan leaders, block leaders and PDL chairman and deputy chairman for landowner companies of the six blocks in PDL 1 and six blocks in PDL 7.
He thanked the leaders for the cooperation that got the process done.
“In the past, people tried to do it in Port Moresby,” he said.
“That’s where it all went wrong.”
Pok said the process had cost them only K500,000 and was completed in two weeks.
He said he would write to the chief justice to transfer all landowner court cases in Port Moresby to Tari.
Pok said this was one of the factors that delayed clan-vetting, the other being sorting out issues in Port Moresby.
Hela Governor Philip Undialu called on landowners to return to Hela to help their people.
He also appealed to leaders to settle differences within 28 days without going to court.