Home > Corruption, Human rights, Land, Logging, oil palm, Papua New Guinea > DFAT refers Australians involved in SABL land grab to Federal Police for investigation

DFAT refers Australians involved in SABL land grab to Federal Police for investigation

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The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has referred Australians involved the SABL land grab in PNG to the Australian Federal Police for investigation.

This was revealed in answers given in the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee in response to questions from Senator Lee Rhiannon (see below).

Australians involved in the land grab include Edward Studdy and Neville Harsely and Clifford Frazer.

DFAT STATEMENT:

Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee
Budget Estimates 2014, 4-5 June 2014
QUESTIONS ON NOTICE/IN WRITING
Question No 140 Program: DFAT Topic: PNG – Illegal Land Grabs in PNG by Australian businesses Question in Writing Senator Rhiannon
Question
1. Considering the growing evidence that Australian companies and business people are facilitating illegal land grabs in PNG, using both Special Agricultural and Business Leases, in addition to State Leases and considering the failure of the PNG government to investigate or prosecute Australians involved in these potentially criminal actions, has or will the Australian government be taking any steps to address these serious illegal activities?
a. If not, why not?
2. What concerns have been raised or discussed with the Australian Government about this issue?
a. By whom? 
b. What has been the outcome of any such communications?
Answer
1. The legislative framework for land use in PapuaNewGuinea is a matter for the Papua New Guinean Government. To the extent that the allegations relate to extraterritorial offences under Australian law, these allegations have been referred to the Australian Federal Police for investigation.
2. There has been a series of media reports drawing on the PNG Commission of Inquiry report findings.
The Department is aware of four letters from members of the Australian public to members of the Australian Parliament regarding the issue over the past six months. The Department has replied to these letters to address concerns raised.
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  1. October 18, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    How long can the Australian Government sit back and idly watch the destruction of the Papua New Guinea environment? Whether the perpetrators are Australian Companies or not the result is the same – environmental destruction and social collapse of remote communities.

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