ACT NOW! congratulates Acting Prime Minister on SABL Announcement

5 May 2011

Community advocacy group, ACT NOW! has congratulated the Acting Prime Minister, Sam Abal, on his announcement of a Commission of Inquiry and an immediate moratorium on any further Special Purpose Agriculture and Business Leases.

“We applaud the Acting Prime Minister for recognizing these leases have been abused and the potentially devastating impacts on the lives of so many people,” says ACT NOW! Program Manager, Effrey Dademo.

“The Acting Prime Minister has made a brave decision to take action and we hope this indicates that under his leadership the government is going to finally get tough on the fraud and corruption that are crippling our Nation”.

SABLs have been used to take control of over 5 million hectares of land away from local people in the last few years. This means more than 10% of Papua New Guinea’s total land mass is now under the control of corporations.

 “Control of land has been taken away from local people, often without them even knowing what has happened”, says Ms Dademo, “this is not about development for local people as some people have claimed.” “It is gratifying to see the Acting Prime Minister standing up for these people and defending the rule of law”.

"What has been happening is land theft. Hopefully the Commission of Inquiry will identify those responsible for abusing our laws and protect landholders by reforming the system for the future."

For further information and comment contact Effrey Dademo on (675) 7689 5266