PNG government commended for establishing Manam resettlement authority

Updated at 6:07 am on 7 August 2006

Efforts to permanently resettle the nearly ten thousand people evacuated from Papua New Guinea's Manam Island have moved forward with the Government establishing a statutory body to look after their concerns.

The islanders were evacuated after a series of volcanic eruptions, from late 2004 left the island uninhabitable.

Finding enough land to house them and allow the development of gardens has been difficult but the chairman of the Manam Humanitarian Committee, Sir Arnold Amet, says the Manam Island Resettlement Authority Act gives an assurance that the government is committed to permanent resettlement.

He says this will set up a statutory authority with the ability to source revenue, negotiate with governments, and purchase land and assets for the islanders.

"I think this is the most significant commitment by government, a statutory enactment that establishes this authority and the people can now be assured of some perpetual assurance by successive governments."

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