22 Nov 2004

PNG minister concerned about threat to capital water supply

4:15 pm on 22 November 2004

Papua New Guinea's minister for Inter-Government relations, Sir Peter Barter, has condemned a threat by landowners to cut off the water supply to the capital, Port Moresby, over the Christmas and New Year holiday period.

The Post-Courier quotes Sir Peter as saying greed can kill and weak and vulnerable people would be the first to be affected if supplies were turned off.

Sir Peter also warned that tampering with state facilities and services was a serious law and order issue and any act which menaced innocent people's lives should be dealt with sternly.

The landowners have been pushing for compensation and royalty payments promised by the government but not delivered.

On Friday, they took over the Sirinumu Dam which provides the capital's water, but surrendered the keys after the government denied rumours that the compensation payments were to be given to another group of landowners.