4 Jun 2012

PNG landowner welcomes challenge over LNG agreement going to court

5:22 pm on 4 June 2012

A campaigner for customary landowner rights in Papua New Guinea has welcomed the referral of his legal challenge against the PNG Liquefied Natural Gas Project agreement to the Supreme Court.

The court has granted an appeal to the project operator Esso Highlands Ltd against a recent National Court ruling in Simon Ekanda's favour which could halt work on the project in some Highlands sites.

Simon Ekanda claims that he wasn't consulted over the agreement although Esso, along with the State, argues that he has no standing in the Project.

Mr Ekanda says the alienation of landowner rights is the main reason why he's contesting the upcoming elections for the Customary Land Rights Party

"I'm going to change the laws and then we'll go for a formula called a product sharing contract. We are going to share the profits. The companies don't own the resources but in this country, through exploration licenses, they have taken over our ownership."

Simon Ekanda