Landowners want SABL out

Source: PNG Loop

Landowners of the Collingwood Bay area in Oro Province say the government must act now on recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry into the handling  of Special Agriculture Business Leases.

Adelbert Gangai told PNG Loop that the order by the courts for land titles to be handed back to customary landowners in Collingwood Bay was a victory for all landowners in Papua New Guinea.

“A lot of people think that SABL is the way to go to free up land for development but they don’t realize that you can actually lose your customary land,” he says.

He says their victory in court highlights the fact many other SABL deals were not done properly as found by the commission of inquiry and the government should press ahead in cancelling them.

“Why waste millions of kina on an inquiry and sit on the results while landowners struggle to find money to pursue their case in court against huge logging companies” added Gangai.

Next week the lawyer representing the landowners of Collingwood Bay will deliver the orders from the courts to the Lands Department.

The Registrar of Titles has 14 days to revoke SABLs given to Sibo Management, Wanigela Agro industrial Limited and Agro Forest Management.