PNG landowner's court case avoidable

1:20 pm on 1 September 2016

An anti-logging NGO in Papua New Guinea says a court victory for a landowner group who sought to overturn controversial land leases wouldn't have had to happen if the government just did something.

Last week, the National Court declared two Special Agricultural Business Leases in East New Britain null-and-void because of the government's failure to follow correct processes.

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Photo: 123rf

In 2013, a Commission of Inquiry found that a vast majority of the leases had been unlawfully issued and recommended they be revoked.

A spokesperson for Act Now, Eddie Tanago, said many landowners struggle to access the court system, and they wouldn't have to if the government acted on its promises.

"The landowners have taken the matter to court themselves and it came up with the same answer that the report has recommended," he said.

"We know that the government has come up with numerous promises to implement the recommendations of the commission of inquiry's report. To date nothing has happened, and it's three years now."

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