Lands Minister stops WHP land bids

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Lands Minister Benny Allan has directed the national land board chairman not to deal with land applications from the Western Highlands province.
Instead, it would have to wait till the Provincial Land and Physical Planning Board is put in place.
This follows revelations of numerous uncontrolled illegal land-grabbing and fake land titles of State land acquired by so called third-party persons in the province making it difficult for the province to plan real tangible developments.
Western Highlands Governor Paias Wingti revealed this in a brief meeting held today at the lands office in Port Moresby with the minister, department secretary Romilly Kila Pat and senior staff of the department.
“The province is faced with numerous problems with State land, through opportunistic land-grabbing, illegal fencing off erected buildings and appearance of fake titles on parts of land parcels with their own titles,” he said.
He expressed the need to have the provincial land and physical planning board in place immediately so that land matters can be attended to in a timely manner and to speed up development in the province.
“As such without the establishment and transfer of lands and physical planning powers and functions to the province, we are powerless to take any conclusive action in any land matters, including re-zoning for development, planning approvals, disputes and attempts to illegally acquire State Land,” Mr Wingti said.
Minister Allan has assured the governor that his department will begin work immediately to establish new provincial land and physical planning board for Western Highlands and direct the national land board chairman to stop dealing with land application from the province.
He also urged governor Wingti and his provincial administration to begin the process of nominating credible land board officials to be presented to the department for gazettal, induction and swearing in of officials.

Hon. Benny Allan, MP
Lands & Physical Planning Minister