7 Nov 2002

Koiari landowners will meet government over Port Moresby water issue

11:25 am on 7 November 2002

Koiari landowners in Port Moresby are to meet the Papua New Guinea government to discuss their grievances over issues such as outstanding fees for water usage.

Last week, the landowners cut off the water supply to Port Moresby because of non-payment of the fees.

Gary Imiri, chairman of the tribe's business arm, the Koiari Development Authority, says the landowners want the Somare government to honour a memorandum of understanding signed with the previous administration which guaranteed the payments.

And he says they would want to formalise this MOU into a long term rental agreement.

Mr Imiri says the Koiari landowners are concerned that they will not be able to afford current business ventures such their Port Moresby coffee mill and Sogeri rubber plantation.

"The funding from the government was not forthcoming to support the established projects that Koiari Holdings are implementing.....the main resource areas of water and power extend from Port Moresby, all the way to Northern Province and that's a very small amount of money that we've been getting from the government -we tried to please every Koiari- it's not enough."

Gary Imiri of the Koiari Development Authority.

He says compensation announced earlier this week by the Government was to the wrong landowning group.