Home > Corruption, Human rights, Land, Logging, Papua New Guinea > O’Neill’s illegal logging: 1029 days and counting…

O’Neill’s illegal logging: 1029 days and counting…

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There is still no sign of any action to undo the huge SABL land grab, revoke the unlawful leases or stop the illegal logging.

It is now a massive 1029 days since Prime Minister Peter O’Neill was told that the SABL leases were unlawful and should be cancelled.

On June 24, 2013 O’Neill was given the reports of the SABL Commission Inquiry which detail the widespread fraud and mismanagement used by foreign logging companies to gain illegal access to over 5 million hectares of land.

For almost three years O’Neill has REPEATEDLY promised  the leases will be canceled and illegal logging stopped.

In September 2013 O’Neill said in Parliament:

“We will no longer watch on as foreign owned companies come in and con our landowners, chop down our forests and then take the proceeds offshore”

Peter O'Neill: Theft of forest resources: Guilty

In June 2014, announcing an NEC decision supposedly cancelling the leases, O’Neill said

“We are taking these steps to reclaim our customary land illegally lost to foreigners with the help of corrupt public servants and leaders”

“As a responsible government we want to ensure that all citizens have access to the lands of their ancestors. We will not allow our land to be lost to unscrupulous people out to con our people” 

The PM’s former Chief Secretary has also admitted the leases are a scam:

“It is widely known that vast amounts of pristine forest have been logged to enrich a corrupt few people, while landowners have unknowingly lost their most valuable asset – their land”.

But, in contrast, Forest Minister Douglas Tomuriesa, has declared the logging companies areeffectively above the law, He says the SABL logging is legal and he will not be taking action to stop it.

So, despite all the promises from the Prime Minister, no action has been taken to cancel the leases, landowners are receiving no support from the government in their battles and against the land grabbing and WE ARE STILL WAITING for the logging to be stopped.

For 1029 days O’Neill has failed to ensure the SABL leases are revoked and he has been complicit in the illegal logging of our forests by foreign logging companies.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has aided and abetted the theft of logs worth hundreds of million of kina and the destruction of thousands of hectares of pristine forest.

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