Media Releases

Campaign Launch: Celebrating and Defending Customary Land

ACT NOW! is today launching a new multi-media campaign titled 'Celebrating and Defending Customary Land'.

Why?

Well customary land is the most valuable asset available to most Papua New Guineans but its role and importance is often misunderstood or misrepresented, particularly by outsiders.

Too few people realise customary land supports an economy estimated to be worth K40 billion a year, provides jobs and incomes for 3 million farmers and provides housing and a sense of community for more than 7 million people.

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SABL petition anniversary marks PNG's greatest ever scandal 

Today is the first anniversary of the presentation of a 10,000 signature petition to the Department of Lands demanding the cancellation of the SABL leases. 2018, also marks five-years since the SABL Commission of Inquiry exposed the full extent of the illegal land grab, which affects more than 10% of the whole country.

But despite repeated promises from the O’Neill government to cancel the leases, stretching back to 2013, almost nothing has been done. 

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APEC Minister Organising Huge New Land Grab

APEC Minister Justin Tkatchenko’s plan to allow commercial banks to take customary land as security for loans is another huge land grab, says community advocacy group, ACT NOW!

“The government has yet to cancel all the illegal SABL leases, used to defraud communities of more than 5 million hectares of land. Instead, they are pushing ahead with plans for another land grab”, says Campaign Coordinator, Eddie Tanago.

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Fears government stalling over promised ICAC

Community advocacy group ACT NOW! says it fears the government is deliberately delaying plans to establish an Independent Commission Against Corruption.

“This Friday, the 10th of November, will see the Prime Minister complete 100 days in office since his re-election, but he has failed to bring the ICAC legislation before Parliament,” says Campaign Coordinator, Eddie Tanago.

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Agriculture summit welcomed but will it focus on the right areas?

Rural Farmers Need Govt Support - Not Foreign Owned Agri-businesses

Community advocacy group ACT NOW! wants Papua New Guinea's first ever National Agriculture Summit to be focused on helping Papua New Guinea’s 3 million rural farmers and not on assisting large foreign owned industries to grab more customary land.  

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Govt decision not to water down ICAC powers welcomed

The government's decision not to water down the powers of the proposed Independent Commission Against Corruption has been welcomed by community advocacy group ACT NOW!

Two-weeks ago the Minister for Justice, Davis Steven, speaking at the Attorney Generals seminar at UPNG, said the government had amended the draft legislation creating the ICAC to remove its powers of arrest and prosecution.

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Government removes critical powers from proposed corruption watchdog

The government has amended draft legislation for an Independent Commission Against Corruption to remove some of its most critical powers and open the doors to political interference, says community advocacy group ACT NOW!

“The government is watering down the powers of the ICAC and will be creating exactly the kind of 'toothless monster' the Secretary for Justice spoke about in his letter published in the media on Monday”, says Campaign Coordinator, Eddie Tanago.

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Government accused of lying
 over SABL land grab

Community advocacy group ACT NOW! is accusing the government of lying to the nation over the SABL land grab and says people across the country will be angry and disappointed.

ACT NOW! says that the SABL land grab, affecting over 50,000 square kilometres of customary land, was one of the biggest national issues over the lifetime of the last Parliament and in the lead-up to the National election both the Prime Minister and Lands Minister made clear statements that gave the impression all the SABL leases were deemed illegal and had been cancelled.  

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Minister must ensure police ban 
in SABL areas enforced

Community advocacy group ACT NOW! has praised new Police Minister Jelta Wong, for his commitment to stop the intimidation and harassment of customary landowners by police officers in SABL areas.

ACT NOW! remains concerned though that the Minister’s instructions may not be followed in all SABL areas.

Mr Wong has said he will ensure the government’s decision cancelling all SABL leases will be supported:

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Government called on to publicly release draft ICAC bill

Community advocacy group ACT NOW! is calling on the government to immediately release the draft ICAC bill before it is presented in Parliament.

“We are encouraged by the statements from the government about its commitment to establish an Independent Commission Against Corruption” says Campaign Coordinator, Eddie Tanago.

“But it is important the crucial legislation is introduced with openness and transparency”.

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