I do not know who owns the land: Defence Minister
BY: Charles Yapumi
Minister for Defence Dr Fabian Pok told Parliament that he does not know who owns the State Lease title of the land that will house the new PNGDF military facility.
Dr Pok was responding to a supplementary question from Sumkar MP, Ken Fairweather in today’s Parliament sitting.
Fairweather asked who is the title holder when the National Government will pay K50 million for the land in the Kairuku- Hiri Electorate of Central Province.
“I do not know who have the title; you have to ask the PNGDF, IPBC (Kumul Consolidated Holdings) or Lands Department,” Dr Pok replied.
Speaker Theo Zurenuoc had to calm both MPs after they did not respect Parliament Standing Orders.
Meanwhile, Kairuku Hiri MP Peter Isoaimo said the Government act of compulsory acquisition amounts to land grabbing.
“How was the land taken because my people are not happy and had given a petition to me and the Central Governor,” Isoaimo told Parliament.
He said there are exiting villagers in Manu Manu and Gabadi areas that will be affected.
However, the Defence Ministers in response said, “We did not consult the traditional landowners, because the land had a proper title.
“People living on the land by law are illegally living on the land,” Dr Pok said.
There is a proposal before the Government to relocate PNGDF Lancron Naval base, 1RPIR barracks at Taurama and Lae Engineering Battalion from Igam.