PNG LNG Landowners Call On Government To ‘Fulfill Commitments’

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Landowners prepare to ‘take law into their hands’ if pleas ignored

By Jeffrey Elapa

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Jan. 12, 2015) – The landowners of the multibillion kina PNG LNG project are calling on the national Government to fulfill its commitment as per the benefit sharing agreements of 2009.

Landowner representatives from Kutubu PDL 2, Moran PDL 5 and 6, Angore PDL 8, Hides PDL 7 and Beneria pipeline said in a statement that the landowners have waited for too long for the government and the developer of the first world glass hydrocarbon project to honour their commitment to pay the landowners.

Landowner spokesperson and trustee of the Wadju stock clan from the tribe in the Kutubu PDL 2 and South East Malanda said six months has passed and more than 50 shipments of condensate gas has left the country, bringing millions into the country but the landowners are still waiting for their benefits as agreed.

Mr Gii said the landowners have waited silently for too long since 2009 and it was now time for them to cry so that the whole world could hear how the government and the developer ExxonMobil were mistreating the landowners.

He said the benefit from the PNG LNG project was only benefiting the Government and not the landowners.

He said the government was preaching about the upcoming 2015 Pacific Games and the 2018 APEC meeting in Port Moresby without showing some kind of appreciation to the landowners who have made it possible for the multibillion project to come into fruition. He said the major events will not benefit the landowners and they want Prime Minister Peter O’Neill to hear the plea of the people.

He said the landowners are prepared to take the law into their hands if the government and ExxonMobil continue to ignore the plight of the people and pay out the commitment by the New Year.

"The Prime Minister Peter O’Neill should reconsider giving our share of the proceeds from the gas. The gas is our blessing, a blessing from our creator after seeing our needs being labourers and providing free workforce to develop PNG by our forefathers," Mr Gii said. "It was also timely that a son of Hela-South was the CEO of the country sharing the benefits from our resource and therefore our Prime Minister as our son should use his powers to compensate us by paying out our dues as agreed."

He said for 26 years the Kutubu oil has kept the economy going so the state should appreciate their contribution to the development of the country and pay what is due.

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