22 Aug 2016

PNG's Hela residents upset with government's empty promises

8:34 am on 22 August 2016

An observer in Papua New Guinea's Hela province says residents are growing increasingly frustrated with the lack of promised benefits from a multi-billion dollar gas project.

ExxonMobil's LNG Project cuts a swathe of development through Hela province in PNG's Highlands.

ExxonMobil's LNG Project cuts a swathe of development through Hela province in PNG's Highlands. Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

For almost two weeks, landowners in the region where the gas fields for the lucrative Liquefied Natural Gas project are centred blocked access to the conditioning plant in Hides.

But normal operations resumed on Friday after the government agreed to honour the landowners' petition to pay for millions of dollars worth of project commitments.

Isaac Pulupe said landowners are frustrated as the government's grand promises about development for the region haven't eventuated.

"It's still the same. The town is still the same," he said.

"They have made some commitments to pave up some 80km of road - it's actually about two. All these sorts of agreements have been signed with the landowners and the government and they haven't done not even a start."

Isaac Pulupe said if last week's agreement is not met by the government, or further negotiations break down, then landowners are likely to protest again.

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs