Villager claims ownership of Lae city

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday 28th August, 2012

TRADITIONAL landowner, Timothy Khaie of the Busulum Kawa clan is claiming ownership of the Lae city land.
He is calling on the state to arrange lease payments.
Claiming to be the Busulum Kawa clan spokesman, Khaie said a Land Titles Commission (LTC) report indicated that the Australian colonial administration had forcefully settled on the land without proper arrangement.
He said in the claims title produced under the Territory of Papua and New Guinea of 1951 New Guinea Land Titles Ordinance Act proved that the 4743.4199 hectares of land “between the Bumbu and Markham Rivers” was owned by the natives under the previous German New Guinea colony.
In a document acquired by Khaie to support his claim is a report by Douglas Evan McInnes, former Secretary for Lands, Surveys and Mines on behalf of the Administrator of Papua and New Guinea.
Khaie said McInnes, who became Territorial Lands secretary, stated in his report that the original German administration report of the New Guinea land was “lost through enemy action” and that a proper handover of Lae City land never took place and it still belonged to the customary landowners.
Expatriate landowners had settled on the land to use it as an access point for the development of the Wau-Bulolo gold mine fields.
In another document, where a land investigation report was directed by Canberra in 1965, it established Gita Aphuoc as the principle landowner without dispute.
Aphuoc allowed foreign settlers to establish their base in Lae for their business.
“This proves that I am the rightful claimant over the Lae City land and am waiting for the state to discuss with me a proper lease agreement,” Khaie claimed.
Lae being the economic hub of the country, Khaie said he did not want outstanding issues such land ownership to hinder development process.