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May 6, 2021
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Government Responds to Koiari Landowners

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The national government says it will not pay the outstanding K10 million to Koiari landowners until it meets with the four impacted landowner groups.

Trade, Commerce and Industry Minister, Richard Maru, said those landowners issuing threats will be cited for contempt, because of a court order in place.

Maru’s comments follow the 24-hour ultimatum issued by Koiari landowners to shut down water supply into Port Moresby.

The threat lapsed at 6pm, yesterday.

Minister Maru said the government will take a holistic approach to address the landowners’ demand for the immediate release of the K10 million.

Government officials including water company, Eda Ranu, and Electricity Supplier, PNG Power, will meet with landowners next week to finalise when the money will be released and to whom it will be given to.

The outstanding money is part of the K50 million which was allocated for the impacted villages by the national government in 2015.

The money is a compensation for the four impacted groups for the use of their land and water.

The dam was built to supply water into Port Moresby prior to Papua New Guinea’s independence.

Since then Minister Maru said the landowners were not fully compensated until the O’Neill-Dion government allocated the K50 million.

The landowners have presented a petition containing their demands to the Office of the Central Government.

EMTV News understands the Central Governor is yet to make a response to that petition.

A sustainable measure will be taken by the government to address the issue, and because it involves a National Court Order, Maru said he wants the issue to be sorted out in a legal manner.

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