Illegal land grabbing result of growing city

Source: The National

PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill said Port Moresby was a rapidly growing city with so much land being illegally acquired.

He said the Government was repossessing pieces of land taken illegally by individuals and putting them into trust.

He was responding to a caller on FM100 radio talkback show who said Port Moresby did not have sufficient recreational facilities because of all the land grabbing going on in the city. The caller said recreational areas in Port Moresby had been taken up or sold to foreigners or individuals.

O’Neill said the Government was addressing the land grabbing problem in the city.

“This city I think has a population close to one million,” he said.

“People say it’s about 500,000, but we can see that it’s close to a million. That’s more than 10% of the country’s population living in Port Moresby.

“I think that some of the investments Government is making are clearly reflective of that. We are now investing a lot of money in the rugby league stadium, Sir Hubert Murray Stadium, Sir John Guise Stadium.

“We are repossessing a lot of the land that was taken by individuals and putting them into trust like the Bisini Parade, Five-Mile, David Unagi Park and some smaller portions that individuals blatantly went ahead and took possession of in under-the-table deals.

“We are cleaning that up. We are putting these into an NCD Trust and they never will be sold.

“It doesn’t matter who becomes prime minister or governor of NCD.This land will never be sold. It’s reserved specifically for sporting areas and recreational facilities. This city is growing and we need to protect this land.

“We are in consultation with the Department of Lands and most of this land has been compulsorily acquired back.”