Landowners from the PNG LNG project in Hela province say the project will remain closed until the government facilitates all benefit payments and completes the clan vetting process.
Landowner leader and owner of Transwonderland, Larry Andagali, says it is in the best interest of the people to halt the LNG operations and let the government complete its task of addressing issues raised by the landowners.
Andagali called on the government to draw up an agreement that will specify a timeline of when and what the government will do to solve the 21-page petition.
He said landowners are genuine partners in the signing of the UBSA and LBBSA agreements in Kokopo 2009, but added that the government has breached the agreement by denying what is due to the resource owners.
Petroleum and Energy Minister, Nixon Duban, stated his department will pay the 2 per cent free carry fee and royalty, but not IDGs, BDGs and other entitlements. Minister Duban also assured landowners that the government will seriously intervene to solve major issues at hand, but needs full cooperation from the different clans and landowner groups in order to do so.
Finance Minister, James Marape, called on the landowners for a 30-day dispensation after this month’s parliament session to allow cabinet time to deliberate on the petition presented by landowners. However, landowners say two weeks will be given to the government.
Landowner leaders also called for developer ExxonMobil to clearly explain its social responsibilities to schools, churches and health facilities in the surrounding areas.