13 Jan 2014

PNG government urged to use land to give young people jobs

7:36 am on 13 January 2014

The Papua New Guinea government is being urged to free up its leasehold land for development.

The technical adviser for Oxfam's Ending Violence Against Women programme says women are suffering the consequences of widespread unemployment among men while plots of land they could be working lie empty.

Three percent of the land in PNG is held under government-owned leasehold interest.

Catherine Natera, who comes from Bereina in the Kairuku district of Central Province, says she has been trying hard to get access to land so people in her area can grow food to supply to workers on the LNG project.

But she says it is taking too long.

"I went back and called the national department and I'm waiting for an interview, appointment to go through the governor's second secretary, to try and sell my idea. Because I'm telling them, there's a lot of a matter. It's actual boys getting drunk and if a woman goes to one of those village parties and she's drinking and the men are drinking they'll target her."

Catherine Natera says the government must put far more effort into creating opportunities for young people.