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June 15, 2021
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Act Now: Publish SABL Lists

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By Rayon Lakingu – EMTV News, Port Moresby

Advocacy group ‘Act Now PNG’ is calling on Government to immediately publish the full lists of SABLs showing the current status of each lease.

Speaking to EMTV News, Act Now Campaign Coordinator, Eddie Tanago Paine, said the Government had promised to cancel SABL leases, however, to date the public is still waiting to hear which of the Leases have been cancelled.

Mr Tanago says the best way to fight corruption in Land Department is by publishing up to date information of all SABLs, so people may know the status of their customary land.

In 2013 a commission of inquiry set up to investigate SABL leases confirmed that the only leases confirmed to have been cancelled have been done on orders of the court.

Mr Tanago says, in 2018 the lands minister promised that all SABL leases would be reviewed by a joint committee, but since then there has been no update.

In many parts of the country, foreign companies are still illegally occupying land – with approval from the government, through the SABL Scheme.

According to Advocacy Group ‘ACT NOW’, over 50 thousand spare kilometers of land have been stolen using illegal SABL leases between 2003 and 2011.

ACT NOW’s Campaign Coordinator, Eddie Tanago, says Previous letters from the United Nation have been ignored by the Government, which is a concern.

He says PNG must be more transparent in dealing with land issues as it affects the lives of people.

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