More government lies, delays and deception over the SABL land grab
More than two-years after the SABL Commission of Inquiry reported on the illegal SABL land grab, the government has come up with yet another bull shit excuse for its failure to implement the Commission recommendations!
The government does NOT need legislation to cancel the leases [the courts have already cancelled at least six] and even if it were true, why only start now???
The simple truth is the government is up to its neck in the corrupt deals with the logging industry and has no intention of ever stopping the illegal logging or returning stolen land to its rightful owners…
Govt plans to cancel SABLs
Source: The National [aka The Loggers Times]
THE Government is working on legislation to cancel Special Agriculture Business Leases, Minister for Lands and Physical Planning Benny Allan says.
Allan said the department tasked its legal division last week to start working.
The National Executive Council set up a taskforce to look at the SABL issue based on recommendations from the SABL report that was tabled in Parliament in 2013.
The legislation, Allan said, was to help the department cancel the licences of log exporters operating through the Forest Clearance Authority.
“At the moment, we cannot cancel any SABL so we have to come up with that legislation. And so we are now working on that,” Allan said.
“Once it comes out, we will use that legislation to cancel those ones that we feel have not met the requirements.
“Only those recommended by the taskforce team we will cancel and allow those genuine SABLs to continue, so that is where we are now.”
The legislation means abolishing provisions of the Land Act that allows the granting of SABLs.
Through SABLs, foreign companies have over the years used customarily owned land intended for agricultural projects to develop unlawful logging operations.
Allan said he had directed the legal division of the Lands Department to start working on the legislation as soon as possible.
The SABL report was presented to Prime Minister Peter O’Neill in March 2013 following a commission of inquiry that uncovered massive fraud and issuance of leases without proper processes, resulting in about 5.5 million hectares of PNG land taken by foreign companies.
Last week, Secretary for Lands and Physical Planning Romilly Kila Pat said six of the SABLs investigated were before the courts for judicial review.