Lands Minister

Workshop for customary landowners

This follows at the back of the strategic partners summit, which was described as a fantastic success by the Lands Minister.

Different outcomes and resolutions were brought to light during the three-day strategic partners summit last week.

Stakeholders and customary landowners shared their concerns and insights on longstanding issues affecting traditional land.

Lands Minister intent on changing perceptions

Minister Justin Tkatchenko made this known during the swearing-in of the Central Province Land Board on December 11th.

Tkatchenko did not defend the Lands Department, instead saying that the label of most corrupt department was not far from the truth.

However, as the new minister, he aims to change that by putting the right people in place as well as the right processes and reforms to change the department once and for all.

Tkatchenko further highlighted a challenge within the Lands Department, and that is the issue of Incorporated Land Groups, or ILGs.

Sipison vows to work with Tkatchenko

Sipison said this in a media conference earlier this week following a meeting with Department management.

Sipison was reinstated following a National Court decision on April 16, 2018 quashing his suspension in light of the Manumanu land deal controversy.

Flanked by former Acting Lands Secretaries, Oswald Tolopa, and Tiri Wanga, and senior Lands Department Staff, Sipison, announced his resumption of duty as Lands Secretary.

He said he was relieved and glad to be back after 14 months of suspension.

Land reforms expected in NCD

Tkatchenko says he will be working with the NCD Governor, Powes Parkop, to address the land issues in NCD.

He said before his appointment, he as Moresby South MP and Governor Parkop pushed hard to secure land in the city for the resident but were met with many setbacks.

But today, as the Minster responsible, they are going to do the right thing for the people.

For years the NCD Governor had pushed for a separate land board so that the Planning Division in NCD could properly map out the city’s development.

Manumanu land files were with former secretary: Minister

Minster for Lands, Justin Tkatchenko, said this after he was questioned by Kairuku-Hiri MP, Peter Isoaimo.

Isoaimo asked Minister Tkatchenko on what was being done to find the missing files and when the Commission of Inquiry would be ready.

“What is his Department going to do about this, and when is the administrative Commission of Inquiry going to be concluded and its findings be made known to the people of Kairuku-Hiri and Papua New Guinea?”

Cancelled SABLs revealed

The SABL was cancelled after it was found there were irregularities in the awarding process.

This is one of 10 SABLs cancelled in the ongoing clean up exercise spearheaded by the Lands Minister, Justin Tkatchenko.

The SABL in question was held by a Purari Development Holdings over Portion 8C in Ihu, Baimuru.

What is noteworthy of this SABL is that it covers one-third of the entire province, which includes existing gas resource fields.

SABL land files missing

In a media conference yesterday, Justin Tkatchenko said only 40 land files out of 100 had been found.

He said a thorough search within every corner of the Department will be made to find the documents.

Tkatchenko was flanked by the members of the Customary Land Advisor Committee (CLAC) during the announcement.

He said of the 40 land files, 10 have been cancelled as per court orders, voluntary surrender and legal advice as the SABL title holders did not follow proper procedures in attaining them.

Lands minister working on SABL cases

Minister Justin Tkatchenko said the State Solicitor has created a checklist which the Department is now crosschecking with all issued SABLs.

He said this is to ensure the state has a watertight case to revoke illegal SABLs.

Speaking to Loop PNG, Tkatchenko said the checklist outlines the correct and legal means of obtaining SABLs.

“I’m doing things by the book, so that it never comes back to hit us, and then we can get on with the job,” stated the minister.

Government pays K1.6m to Tech 1

Lands Minister Justin Tkatchenko presented the cheque to Technology 1, the firm responsible for the installation and upgrade.

The payment will ensure the company completes the installation and upgrade of the system, which they believe will weed out many issues within the Lands Department.

Presenting the cheque to Technology 1, Minister Tkatchenko thanked the Government for approving the release of the funding to ensure the system is up and running.

Tolopa is acting lands secretary

Lands Minister Justin Tkatchenko revealed this yesterday, stating that Tolopa was appointed last week.

Tkatchenko said the appointment is in line with his focus to implement significant changes within the Department.

“Mr Tolopa has taken the reins already, he’s been gazetted and I look forward to working with him for the benefit of reform and change in the Lands Department,” said Tkatchenko.