Government Addressing Illegal Settlements Through Public Housing

by Michelle Amba – EM TV, Port Moresby

The government has no intention of adjusting the Vagrancy Act.

Prime Minister Peter O&rsquO’Neill highlighted this when responding to a question on squatter settlements in towns and cities.

The Prime Minister told parliament that the movement of citizens should not be restricted. He said the government is embarking on land and housing projects that will address the issue of unplanned settlements.

The issue of squatter settlements was brought up in parliament by Member for Rabaul, Dr Allen Marat. The member of the Opposition questioned the government on its plans to address the increasing number of squatter settlements in urban centres.

He questioned whether the government would adjust a Supreme Court judgment on the Vagrancy Act and if there were to be any changes to Section 52 of the Constitution. Prime Minister Peter O&rsquO’Neill informed parliament that his government is addressing this issue in one of its government policies.

The Prime Minister pointed out the fact that people move to towns and cities in search of better living. He said settlements can be built on properly surveyed land with clear land titles and access to water and electricity.

He informed parliament of a large scale project planned by the government to make affordable land and housing available for ownership. The planned settlement program will be piloted in Port Moresby, Lae and Mount Hagen.

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