Media Releases

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.

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.  

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:

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”.

New Ministers called on to confirm
 SABLs cancelled, logging stopped 
and police withdrawn

The newly sworn in Minister for Forests, Douglas Tomuriesa, the new Minister for Lands, Justin Tkatchenko, and new Police Minister, Jelta Wong, are being called on to confirm the cancellation of all SABL leases.

“We congratulate the new Minister’s on their appointments, but we are urging them to immediately address the SABL issue which has been plaguing our country for far too long”, says Eddie Tanago, Campaign Coordinator for the community advocacy group ACT NOW!

Petition calls on Parliament to establish an ICAC within 100 days

Community advocacy group ACT NOW! has launched a petition calling on newly elected MPs to establish an Independent Commission Against Corruption within 100 days.

“Everyone knows corruption is a massive problem in Papua New Guinea" , says Campaign Coordinator, Eddie Tanago. "People are dying unnecessarily every day because of the rampant stealing and the mismanagement it causes.”

Plenty more work needed to redress SABL injustice

The government still has plenty of work to do to redress the injustice of the SABL land grab and illegal logging, according to community advocacy group ACT NOW!

ACT NOW! says it is cautiously optimistic the government is moving in the right direction by cancelling the SABL leases, but this is only a first step.

“We welcome statements from the Minister for Lands that the government has cancelled all SABL leases; if it is true, it is a significant move”, says Program Manager Effrey Dademo.

Someone must be held accountable for SABL failings

Someone must be held accountable for the failure to cancel unlawful SABL leases, says community advocacy group, ACT NOW!

“The Prime Minister has publicly blamed the Department of Lands for failing to cancel the leases, but unless people are made accountable, nothing is going to change” says Program Manager, Effrey Dademo.

The NEC decision cancelling the leases was made in June 2014, but since then not one lease has been revoked by the Department of Lands.

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.