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Hickey backs SABL land grab as local people plead for help

July 22, 2011 Leave a comment

Bogia MP John Hickey is backing a controversial Special Purpose Agriculture and Business Lease in his electorate against the wishes of his own constituents.

Local people from the Dongan and Nenem clans have petitioned their MP to explain how their land has been taken from them without their knowledge and consent, but the MP has refused to help them saying the lease is a done deal and they need to shut up.

The SABL covers an area of 112,400 hectares and extends from the Taringe electorate of Ben Semri in middle Ramu to the Annaberg electorate in the Bosmun area. It was gazzetted on the 11th of March this year.

Local people do not know who the lease has been granted to and are angry that their MP is not supporting them in challenging the land grab.

The Acting Prime Minister has recently ordered a Commission of Inquiry into all SABLs which have been used to take control of over 5 million hectares of land away from indigenous people and are widely seen as fraudulent and a misuse of the Lands Act.

It is not known why Hickey is supporting the theft of land from people in his own electorate and whether he has any financial or other interests in the land grab.