29 Oct 2012

New legislation should help PNG landowners with resource projects

6:06 am on 29 October 2012

A social mapping consultant says new legislation should help Incorporated Land Groups give customary landowners more ownership of resource extraction projects in Papua New Guinea.

Phil Fitzpatrick has been working in East Sepik with Provincial Lands Officers setting up Incorporated Land Groups.

He says recent legislative changes forcing people to present birth certificates in order to join such a group have provided a more effective way of determining legitimate landowners.

Mr Fitzpatrick says the new changes will help ILGs to combat corruption.

"I don't think anything is incorruptible but it's certainly a lot better than anything that's gone on previously. Things like creating these ghost landowner companies in Port Moresby which then tap into the royalties and other benefits without anything ever getting back to the local people. That sort of thing, with any luck, should be a thing of the past."