20 Dec 2013

PNG NGO questions lack of action on SABLs

6:41 pm on 20 December 2013

An NGO which pushed for an investigation into the issuing of Special Agriculture Business Leases in Papua New Guinea is questioning why the government hasn't acted on the findings of a Commission of Inquiry.

In September the prime minister Peter O'Neill tabled a report in parliament from the inquiry which found more than 90 percent of those leases were fraudulently or improperly obtained from customary landowners.

However Mr O'Neill said the final report was incomplete and decided a taskforce should be set up to review its recommendations.

But a manager at the PNG Eco-Foresty Forum, Mary Boni, says there's more than enough evidence for the government to declare those leases null and void.

"We were of the view that even if that report was incomplete there was still findings on it and there was still recommendations made and therefore they need to act on those rather than wait for a complete report because people who have been affected by this want their land back."

Mary Boni says landowners have no redress because taking legal action is too expensive for most.