Media Releases

Lands Minister Benny Allen blocking government promises to cancel SABL leases?

Community advocay group, ACT NOW! says it appears Lands Minister Benny Allen is blocking the implementation of government decisions to end the SABL land grab and return stolen land to its customary owners.

Since 2013, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has repeatedly promised the unlawful SABL leases will be cancelled, and in June 2014 the National Executive Council endorsed the recommendation from the Commission of Inquiry that the leases be revoked.

But Minister Benny Allen and the Department of Lands are still stalling on any action and have failed to cancel any leases.

Government plan to convert SABL leases just another illegal land grab

Community advocacy group ACT NOW! is condemning plans by the government to convert unlawful SABL leases to another form of land tenure using Incorporated Land Groups. The Lands Minister revealed the government’s intention when speaking to the media last Friday. [1]

ACT NOW! says converting the SABL leases  would not only repeat the injustice and human rights abuses inherent in the original SABL leases it will compound the problem by giving control over vast tracts of land to a small number of people overseen by a corrupt and dysfunctional Department of Lands.

Ten Thousand Voices Demand SABL Action from the Government

A 10,000 signature petition is today being presented to the government calling for action on the SABL land grab. 

The petition is being presented by Paul Pavol, who was last year awarded the international Alexander Soros Foundation Award, in recognition of his communities efforts to oppose four unlawful SABL leases over their land.

Community leaders meet to discuss lack of development and plan for 2017

Around 70 community leaders from Madang Province are meeting this week to discuss the lack of development taking place in the Provinces and to begin organising ahead of the 2017 National Election.

The meeting has been arranged by ACT NOW! and is being hosted by the Tropical Gem community network. The theme for the meeting is "Rise Up! Return to Your Roots".

“Successive governments have failed to improve the lives of most people, especially those living in rural areas and urban settlements”, says ACT NOW! Program Manager, Effrey Dademo.

Three years but still no action to cancel unlawful SABL leases

For three years Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has failed to cancel unlawful SABL leases affecting over 5 million hectares of land and has failed to deliver on his promises to return the land to its customary owners.

“Tomorrow, June 24, will mark the three-year anniversary of the Commission of Inquiry reports that exposed the whole scam and confirmed the leases are unlawful”, says Eddie Tanago, Campaign Coordinator for ACT NOW! 

Petition calls on Treasurer to investigate logging company tax evasion

A new on-line petition calling on Papua New Guinea’s Treasurer to launch an urgent investigation into the logging industry and its tax record has collected over 800 signatures in just 10 days.

The petition is a response by community advocacy group ACT NOW! to revelations most logging companies operating in Papua New Guinea avoid paying any corporate taxes, depriving the country of hundreds of millions of dollars in potential revenues.