26 Nov 2012

PNG's Manus landowners threaten to shutdown power

11:30 am on 26 November 2012

Landowners on Papua New Guinea's Manus Island have threatened to shut down electricity to parts of the province, less than a week after Australia's first batch of asylum seekers arrived.

Local MP Ronnie Knight says landowner groups on Saturday threatened to shut down power to parts of the province over demands for compensation from Australia to use the site.

The facility itself is powered by four large generators and is not expected to be affected by loss of power.

Meanwhile, a group involved in blockading Manus airport on the 12th of November gave the PNG government a two-week deadline to meet with them.

That deadline ends on Tuesday.

The government has sent 64 mobile riot-squad police to Manus, a move Mr Knight says should keep the landowners from following through on their most recent threat.

The landowners, who represent as many as five different clans around Lombrum, were angered after it was announced security firm G4S was given contracts to run the site.