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Posts Tagged ‘Department of Land’

O’Neill’s illegal logging: 1337 days and counting…

February 20, 2017 1 comment

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Peter O'Neill: Theft of forest resources: Guilty

sabl cartoon

Stolen SABL land would reach all the way to the moon

February 20, 2017 2 comments

sabl-how-much-land

By ACTNOW!

Fifty two thousand square kilometres of customary land has been stolen in the SABL land grab.

52,000 square kilometres is the same as 5.2 million hectares – but what does that amount of land really look like?

Well, 52,000 square kilometres is the same as the whole of Central and Northern (Oro) Provinces put together – imagine that: land equivalent to two whole Provinces illegally given to foreign companies!

It is also the same as 7 million rugby fields.

Yup, you could create 7,000,000 rugby fields from the land stolen in the SABL land grab – and if we laid those rugby fields end to end they would reach all the way to the moon and almost all the way back!

Just imagine that, you could walk all the way to the moon on the land stolen in the SABL land grab!

In June 2013, almost four years ago, a Commission of Inquiry found the SABL leases had been illegally issued and recommended they be cancelled and land given back to customary landholders.

But what has been the government’s response to this huge illegal theft of customary land?

Zip, nothing, nill. Not one lease has been cancelled by the government.

Who is our government working for? For us, the people of PNG, or the foreign companies who have stolen our land? 

O’Neill’s illegal logging: 1330 days and counting…

February 13, 2017 Leave a comment

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It is now just a few months to the election, but there is still NO ACTION to reverse the huge SABL land grab. NO ACTION to return the land to customary landholders and NO ACTION to stop the illegal logging in SABL areas.

It is now 1,330days since the reports of the SABL Commission Inquiry which detail the widespread fraud and mismanagement that has allowed foreign logging companies to gain illegal access to over 50 thousand square kilometres of land.

Since June 2013, more than three-and-a-half years ago, O’Neill has REPEATEDLY promised us 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”

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” 

In 2015 the Chief Secretary stated:

“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”.

And just three months ago, on November 4, O’Neill told Parliament and the Nation:

“I am pleased to say that all the SABL leases to be cancelled, instruction has now gone to the Lands Dept and as of today I can assure you that leases are now being cancelled and where there are projects now existing, we’ve encouraged the landowners to renegotiate many of those leases arrangements that they have made with the developers.

“These leases were given without much thought in the past. As a result, a lot of the landowners stood to lose all their years of generations of ownership over the land that they have had for many years.

“We do not want the rightful landowners lose their rights to land.

“That is why we have instructed the department of Lands and Forestry to cancel all the SABL.”

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

For 1,330 days O’Neill has failed to ensure the SABL leases are revoked and 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.

Peter O'Neill: Theft of forest resources: Guilty

O’Neill’s illegal logging: 1323 days and still counting…

February 6, 2017 1 comment

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Peter O'Neill: Theft of forest resources: Guilty

px-logo land grabbing

sabl cartoon

The Duma Scandal Deepens – New Links and New Land Grabs

February 2, 2017 7 comments
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William Duma’s denials of involvement are contradicted by the facts

Minister William Duma informed parliament on Tuesday that he has no links to the company, Kurkuramb Estates, that is the beneficiary of a sweetheart deal worth K46.6 million to purchase land for a PNG Defence Force naval base.

PNG Blogs originally broke this story with some astute detective work. 

However, Duma’s attempt to wriggle out of the scandal, by claiming no connection to Kurkuramb Estates is futile. This network map shows the intimate connection between the two:

vis_duma-1

We can also reveal this is not the first time that Minister Duma has been implicated in a potentially corrupt land deal.

In a Judicial Review case before the Supreme Court in 2012, the company Noko 96 claimed that Duma’s company, Kopana Investments Limited, acquired their 5 state leases over harbourside land at Paga Hill, Port Moresby. The Supreme Court, noted with suspicion that in a short space of time the then Lands Minister Puka Temu:

  • forfeited five State Leases held by Noko; and
  • after forfeiting the leases, exempted the land to which they related (five blocks at Paga Hill, Port Moresby) from advertisement; and
  • granted new State Leases over the land to Kopana Investments Ltd, a company owned and controlled by the then Minister for Petroleum and Energy, Hon William Duma MP.

The court presented the suspicious timeline underpinning this sweetheart deal given by one member of Cabinet to another:

27 March 2009

:

Notice to show cause why leases should not be forfeited, posted to Noko.

27 April 2009

:

Kopana submitted applications regarding land covered by Noko’s five State leases to the Land Board.

1 July 2009

:

Department of Lands and Physical Planning sent reminder notice to Noko.

3 Sept 2009

:

Forfeiture notices published in National Gazette.

14 Sept 2009

:

Minister exempted land from advertisement.

29 Sept 2009

:

Land Board recommended leases be granted to Kopana.

12 Nov 2009

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Publication in National Gazette of Kopana as successful applicant.

25 Nov2009

:

Five State Leases (previously held by Noko) granted to Kopana.

This all came at a very convenient time. Another company censured for its corruption, Paga Hill Development Company – led by Gudmundur Fridriksson – had just acquired a 99 state lease over a 13.7 hectare neighbouring property. The lease was issued on 03/04/2009. This, of course, is the developer who promises to build a ‘tourism city’, complete with 6-star hotels and a commercial grade marina, prepped and ready for APEC 2018.

Three weeks after the PHDC lease is issued, Duma, the ever astute businessmen, begins steps to acquire waterfront land which would be needed for this mega-development worth K3 billion. 

Despite the suspicious circumstances and the court revelations, an inside source claims Duma still retains ownership of the prime Paga Hill land.  And look who served as a Director at Malaga No.7 Limited – a vehicle owned by the Paga Hill Development Company. You guessed it, Minister Duma!

duma-fridriksson

It appears winners are grinners. No wonder 8 million Papua New Guineans are frowning right now! 

O’Neill’s illegal logging: 1316 days and counting…

January 30, 2017 2 comments

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It is now less than six month until the election, the public service is back at work, but there is still NO ACTION to reverse the huge SABL land grab. NO ACTION to return the land to customary landholders and NO ACTION to stop the illegal logging in SABL areas.

It is now 1,316 days since the reports of the SABL Commission Inquiry which detail the widespread fraud and mismanagement that has allowed foreign logging companies to gain illegal access to over 50 thousand square kilometres of land.

Since June 2013, more than three-and-a-half years ago, O’Neill has REPEATEDLY promised us the leases will be canceled and illegal logging stopped.

Peter O'Neill: Theft of forest resources: Guilty

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”

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” 

In 2015 the Chief Secretary stated:

“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”.

And just three months ago, on November 4, O’Neill told Parliament and the Nation:

“I am pleased to say that all the SABL leases to be cancelled, instruction has now gone to the Lands Dept and as of today I can assure you that leases are now being cancelled and where there are projects now existing, we’ve encouraged the landowners to renegotiate many of those leases arrangements that they have made with the developers.

“These leases were given without much thought in the past. As a result, a lot of the landowners stood to lose all their years of generations of ownership over the land that they have had for many years.

“We do not want the rightful landowners lose their rights to land.

“That is why we have instructed the department of Lands and Forestry to cancel all the SABL.”

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

For 1,316 days O’Neill has failed to ensure the SABL leases are revoked and 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.

sabl cartoon

Petroleum Minister defends illegal land deals

January 24, 2017 1 comment
new-look-for-madang

Image shows the facilities Minister Duban claims will be built on land illegally acquired by his family business

Petroleum Minister and Madang MP, Nixon Duban, has gone to the media to defend two illegal land deals in which a company owned by his family and associates has acquired prime green spaces in Madang town.

Duban, see story below, says the deals have been approved by the Provincial Assembly and will see the construction of two 15-story hotels and a seven-story shopping mall.

But Duban has not answered any of the questions over the issuing of the leases or, indeed, denied, they are illegal.

The Minister should explain:

  • who is the Korean company he says will build the facilities?
  • why were the leases issued to a company owned by his relatives and associates?
  • why did the Minister not reveal this conflict of interest when lobbying for the Lands Minister to issues the leases?
  • how could the leases be issued under S.72(d) of the Lands Act when the land does not contain any State buildings and therefore the Section cannot apply?
  • why was the land rezoned by the National Physical Planning Board in Port Moresby without the knowledge and consent of the Madang Provincial Physical Planning Board.
  • what is the name of the company he claims local organisations will own a stake in and how will they benefit from that ownership given the development is very unlikely to show a profit in the foreseeable future?
  • what role does the Chinese company Loyaluck Investments, whose name is disclosed in paperwork as linked to the deal, have in the affair?

See further: 

Madang to lose iconic green spaces in APEC land grab

Key government Minister to benefit from bulldozing of Madang parks

PNG Minister and Chinese Woman exposed in illegal land grab

Further allegations regarding Minister Duban’s dodgy land deals

New look for Madang

DOROTHY MARK in The National (aka The Loggers Times)
MADANG will see the development of two 15-storey hotels and a seven-storey shopping mall under a new K500 million business investment plan.
The plan has been endorsed by the provincial assembly.
MP Nixon Duban told the assembly that the plan received much criticism in the social media because many people were not aware of the economic benefits of the investment.
He said the shopping mall would be constructed at a cost of K300 million by a Korean company. Duban said Madang people would own 30 per cent of the shares in the investment.
“The building itself will have restaurants, banking facilities, private clinics, office spaces, recreational park, children play ground and shops,” he said.
Duban said Transgogol, Ambenob and MULLG would have 5 per cent shares each, the business arm of the Bel people in Madang called the Yamauan LOA would own 5 per cent, Madang district, would own 5 per cent and 120 community-based organisations, which benefitted under the district’s K1 million credit scheme, would also receive 5 per cent of the shares.
He said 70 per cent of the shares was for the investor.
Duban said the investment was a result of the Madang’s investment summit last year.
He said two hotels would be erected at a cost of K200 million with big economic benefit for the district. The projects would take two years to complete. “Those people posting the negative image of the investment on social media represent their own self-interest. It is a political gimmick and should not be entertained,” Duban said.
He said the shopping mall and hotels development would place Madang in a better position to gain city status.
Duban received the full support of the assembly to go ahead with the investment on behalf of the Madang Urban, Ambenob and Transgogol local level governments.