State To Meet With Kainantu Landowners

By ROSALYN ALBANIEL

A state team is expected to meet with the landowners from Kainantu this Wednesday in Goroka to discuss solutions to the petition by the landowners of Bilimoia.
The team will be led by the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) managing director Philip Samar.

In a press conference yesterday Mr Samar said there were six points that had been raised by the landowner leaders in the petition dated August 21, 2017.
They include:
– The awarding of contracts for catering, security services and trucking to be awarded to the landowners;
– Employment and training for local Bilimoians;
– Commencement of Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) review;
– Landowner association office to be established in Kumian and Kainantu;
– Support funds for the landowners;
– Water coloration payment;
– Outstanding compensation payment and contract engagement right fees.
Mr Samar said the landowners had done the right thing in as far has raising their issues through a petition.

However, what had been disappointing was that the other parties had the right to reply to the demands but were not given the opportunity to do so.
Instead the disgruntled landowners had opted to take the law into their own hands, causing substantial destruction and damage.
He said a meeting had been called on August 30, 2017 at the Lae International Hotel which was attended by all concerned parties.

In attendance had been the Mining Minister Johnston Tuke and BLA chairman Neneti Tesai and his executives and the K92’s chief executive officer John Lewins.
One of the major outcomes had been the developer inspite of the situation, agreeing to award the three major business contracts for catering, security and trucking to the landowners on a 50:50 joint venture basis.

He said the landowner had not signed off on the resolutions that had been passed requesting they be allowed an audience with their people before this is done.
He said the meeting had been held but he had further requested to meet with landowners again to explain the content of the resolutions.

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