PNG cabinet minister promises action on SABLs

1:56 pm on 9 October 2017

Papua New Guinea's lands minister, Justin Tkatchenko, is promising a major announcement this week on the controversial special agricultural and business leases or SABLs.

Justin Tkatchenko

Justin Tkatchenko, Lands Minister of Papua New Guinea. Photo: RNZI

The SABLs were found to have been illegally established three years ago but they have continued to operate, despite an outcry from landowner groups and community organisations.

The Post Courier newspaper reported Mr Tchatchenko saying he will make some very strong and firm and positive decisions on the leases, based on investigations by a committee his ministry set up.

The paper quoted him saying the SABLS had resulted in the theft of public, customary, and other land, and that the ministry would get to the bottom of the matter before the New Year.

Mr Tkatchenko has assured the landowners that the committee he has in place is not fake, but a serious body that sits every week to deliberate.

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