by Delly Waigeno – EM TV News, Port Moresby
Landowners of Hides PDL7 project area in the Hela Province want the national government to withdraw administrative and financial powers of the Hela provincial government and set up a new caretaker administration.
They claim the Hela provincial government failed to allocate funds from the State released K53 million to nominated projects by landowners of Hides 1, Hides 4, Angore and Juha.
The landowners have now given the government 21 days notice to act, before the forceful closure of the PNG LNG Project’s Hides conditioning plant.
The landowners of PDL 7 called a media conference to ask the national government to replace the Hela provincial government with a caretaker administration.
The claim the provincial government is misapplying the infrastructure development grants on agro industrial business, which is a breach of UBSA and LBBSA contracts.
Principal landowner of Hides PDL7, John Honale, said the K53 million was released as part of the State’s response to the landowners’ 21-point petition given in July this year.
The landowners claim the Hela provincial government, being the government on the ground, is not providing leadership in assisting and addressing landowner issues in relation to UBSA and LBBSA forums.
They want the national government to also nullify the UBSA and are calling for fresh agreements for the PNG LNG Project. They have given the government 21 days to respond, before they close the Project’s Hides conditioning plant.
Honale said that when the Prime Minister released the money, it was a special commitment to the project area, and not for anyone else that will result in the rights of the people of PDL 7 denied.
While thanking the Prime Minister for ensuring the release of the funds, the landowners also want him to clarify who the funds were meant for.