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Posts Tagged ‘Department of Land’

O’Neill’s illegal logging: 1064 days and counting…

May 23, 2016 1 comment

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Peter O'Neill: Theft of forest resources: Guilty

sabl cartoon

O’Neill’s illegal logging: 1057 days and counting…

May 16, 2016 2 comments

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Will the government ever do anything to undo the huge SABL land grab?

Certainly not seems to be the answer looking at proposed amendments to the Land Act that will allow the leases to run for their full 99 year terms.

So much for all the promises from Prime Minister O’Neill to revoke the unlawful leases, return the land to the people and stop the illegal logging!

It is now a massive 1057 days since 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 that allowed foreign logging companies to gain illegal access to over 5 million hectares of land.

For three years 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” 

The Chief Secretary has also declared the leases a corrupt 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, 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 1057 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

Prime Minister’s SABL lies exposed

May 12, 2016 3 comments

land act amendment notice

The Prime Minister’s numerous promises to cancel the unlawful SABL leases have been exposed as a complete lie.

Proposed amendments to the Lands Act, released by the Minister, Benny Allen, show the government intends to allow the SABL leases to remain for their full 99 year terms.

land amendment act sabl

This is despite the fact SABL leases have been exposed as an illegal scam by a Commission of Inquiry and in several court cases. The leases were issued without the informed consent of customary land owners and in breach of numerous rules and regulations.

Since receiving the CoI reports in June 2013 the Prime Minister has made repeated promises that he will implement the findings, cancel the leases and return 5 million hectares of land to its customary owners.

Instead the proposed amendments to the Lands Act, although preventing any new SABL leases from being issued, will allow the current leases to remain and in many cases landowners will not regain control of their land until after 2100!

Land (Amendment) Act 2013 [pdf file 5MB]

O’Neill’s illegal logging: 1050 days and counting…

May 9, 2016 2 comments

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Peter O'Neill: Theft of forest resources: Guilty

billboard poster - give land back to landowners

O’Neill’s illegal logging: 1043 days and counting…

May 2, 2016 Leave a comment

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Will the government ever do anything to undo the huge SABL land grab? It has promised to revoke the unlawful leases, return the land to the people and stop the illegal logging but we are still waiting…

It is now a massive 1043 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 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”

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” 

sabl cartoon

Last year the Chief Secretary 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, 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 1043 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.

Peter O'Neill: Theft of forest resources: Guilty

Government able to revoke SABL leases when it suits political agenda

April 27, 2016 Leave a comment
Prime Minister happy to endorse Gordon Wesley despite his conviction for election fraud

Prime Minister happy to endorse Gordon Wesley despite his conviction for election fraud

What does it take for the government to stand by its promises and revoke an unlawfully issued agriculture lease?

An impending by-election seems to be the answer.

The people of Samarai-Murua will go to the polls next month to elect a new MP. The by-election was called after sitting member Gordon Wesley was dismissed from office for bribery (ironically he was the first to nominate for the new contest and has the backing of Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill).

Now, in a blatant piece of electioneering, the government has cancelled three SABL leases on Woodlark (Murua) island and committed to giving the title to the land back to the landowners.

Meanwhile the people living in 72 other unlawful SABL lease areas wait in vain for the Prime Minister to follow through on his numerous promises to revoke the leases over their land and give them back their titles….

As Gary Juffa has commented – CORRUPTION: WHEN PNG ruling party uses public funds to campaign for candidates in by election who had been ousted by the courts for bribery!

px-logo land grabbing

Portions of land to be given back to customary landowners

Post Courier: A LARGE portion of land on Woodlark Island, Milne Bay Province, earmarked for oil palm development has been forfeited to the State. It will be returned to the islanders, Milne Bay Governor Titus Philemon said, praising the actions by the Lands and Physical Planning Department to cause the forfeiture. “The forfeiture of the titles of the three portions of land to the State is a major victory for the people of Woodlark and the Milne Bay Provincial Government. “We have been fighting for the land to be returned to the islanders since 2000, and today we have won,” Mr Philemon said. While on a brief visit to the island on Wednesday, together with Petroleum and Energy Minister Ben Micah, the Governor also relayed the news of the forfeiture of the titles to the people, who received it with much joy. “Your claim that you are people of an island with no hope and no choice changes from today. Now you have much to hope for and to choose. Your land will be returned to you,” he told the people at Guasopa station. Vitroplant Ltd obtained the titles of the three portions of the State-owned land on the island on 99-year agricultural leases in 2007 with plans to develop an oil palm plantation. The leases cover a total 60,400 hectares, or 70 per cent of the land on the island. However, after nine years and no developments, the islanders and the Milne Bay Provincial Government had lobbied for the land to be returned to the customary owners. The State, through Lands and Physical Planning Department, decided to issue show-cause notices on Vitroplant last month. Prime Minister Peter O’Neill in response to the calls for the return of the land to the customary owners also gave directions to the Minister Benny Allen last year to make necessary arrangements for this to take place. The forfeiture notice was gazetted on April 14, effectively annulling the leases and taking the titles away from the company. The forfeiture will now be registered under the Registrar of Titles then the process of declaring the land back as customary land to the landowners will begin.

O’Neill’s illegal logging: 1036 days and counting…

April 25, 2016 1 comment

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px-logo land grabbing

Peter O'Neill: Theft of forest resources: Guilty

sabl cartoon

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