31 Oct 2012

PNG compo claims reflect failings in government agencies - commentator

8:11 pm on 31 October 2012

The Papua New Guinea Government is being called on to develop improved mechanisms to cope with demands from landowners for compensation.

Such demands are frequent in PNG with the latest a threat to shut down Port Moresby's Jackson's Airport just ahead of the visit by Prince Charles, unless an outstanding compensation claim is settled.

The executive director of the PNG Institute of National Affairs Paul Barker says the government cannot be held to ransom but where valid claims exist political leaders need to find ways to honour them.

He says the threats are a reflection of the deficiency of many government institutions.

"Starting with the Land Department - the paucity of their record keeping, and then the unreliability of actually making payments or honouring various commitments. There does need to be a much more routine arrangement and what has happened over the years is that the state has become afraid of investing in crucial infrastructure."