Australia-PNG commercial alliance brutalises community defending National Laws
On 1 July 2014, the Supreme Court overturned a decision by the National Court that granted permission to the Paga Hill Development Company (PHDC) to evict residents of the historic Paga Hill community. The Supreme Court decided that the residents lived on reclaimed land outside PHDC’s lease, and were therefore exempt from the National Court’s eviction order.
While the case was before the courts, the reclaimed land at the centre of this proceeding, was registered and leased by the government to Audayap No.5 Limited, a subsidiary of PHDC. The use of a subsidiary concealed the real owner in the gazettal notices, which would have tipped off Paga Hill’s lawyers.
Then on the 22nd of July, without court sanction, the NCD and the RPNGC, demolished homes on the reclaimed land, only weeks after the residents won their Supreme Court battle.
With help from the late Rtd Judge Mark Sevua, the community launched contempt proceeds on the 6th of October against the Australian CEO of PHDC, Gudmundur Fridrksson (PHDC), and the Australian run contractor Curtain Bros Ltd. Also cited in the contempt proceedings is Governor Powes Parkop, and NCD Beat Unit Senior Constable, Gene Punai, who has been overseeing the harassment of community leaders.
Just over a week after the contempt proceedings were launched, the RPNGC goon squad arrived at Paga Hill. They demolished the remaining homes, destroyed the historic church, and burnt the pre-school to the ground. The people have nothing now, no shelter, no place for their children to learn, no place to workship.
This is raw power at work – its an Australian led commercial alliance, whose interests are being protected by police and the NCDC. And at the head of this Alliance is Gudmundur Fridriksson who has been slammed in 4 x Public Account Committee reports, 2 x Auditor General reports, and 1 x Commission of Inquiry.
Save Paga Hill, prosecute the guilty!