Close to K50 million paid to acquire new Defence Force base land

It was confirmed in today’s Parliament sitting that close to K50 million was paid to find a new home for PNG Defence Force.

This followed a Question without Notice from Sumkar MP, Ken Fairweather directed to Prime Minister Peter O’Neill to confirm that K46. 6 million was paid by Kumul Consolidated Holdings (KCH) to acquire the land in Kairuku–Hiri District of Central Province.

O’Neill in response asked Deputy Speaker John Simon’s blessing for State Enterprise Minister William Duma to answer the question.

“I am only aware to the nature of the deal yesterday when the questioned was asked to the Defence Minister.

“NEC had made a decision to relocate Murray Barracks and Tarauma Barracks but the details of the particular NEC decision I am not aware.”  

Duma confirmed the transaction of the compulsory acquisition of the land was paid by the KCH as a management decision well before he took up the ministry.       

“The decision was made in 2012, well before I was the minister responsible.”

Duma said the allegations raised on Facebook against him were politically motivated as the 2017 National Election will happen in three months.

He added that decision to implement the NEC decision was implemented by the Defence Ministry and PNGDF Headquarters.

Duma said it followed valuation of the acquired land by the Valuers General’s Office of the Lands Department before KPH made the payment to the title holder of the state lease land.

Meanwhile, Kairuku Hiri MP Peter Isoaimo, said the Government act of compulsory acquisition amounts to land grabbing.

“How was the land taken because my people (traditional landowners) are not happy and had given a petition to me and the Central Governor,” Isoaimo told Parliament on Thursday’s.

He said there are existing villagers in Manu Manu and Gabadi areas that will be affected.

However, the Defence Ministers in response said, “We did not consult the traditional landowners, because the land had a proper title.   

“People living on the land by law are illegally living on the land,” Dr Pok said.

Caption: State Enterprise Minister William Duma in Parliament.


Charles Yapumi