by Jack Lapauve Jr – EMTV, Port Moresby
Parliament sessions this week saw questions raised on the alarming cases of land grabbing and the drastic rise in developments on state land in the country’s two major cities.
Southern Highlands Governor William Powi called on the Lands Department to stop all land applications and do a stock-take of all state land.
Governor Powi questioned the plans of the national government through the Lands Department on how best it can tackle this issue of land acquisition by foreign investment and local businessmen.
Powi said foreigners and business associates are just walking over the lands department and acquiring land anytime.
In his response, the Minister said the Land Board is cracking down on land titles and resettlement of people on state land. He says targeted cities, Lae and Port Moresby are the first to be dealt with.
Adding to that, Minister Allen, said a directive from the National Executive Council is to look into the Urban Development lease and outstanding land rentals in both cities. He called on all businesses to pay-up or face consequences of losing the property.