Madang used to be a safe haven: Kramer

Madang has been known as a safe haven in the country but unfortunately, this perception has changed over the years given the rife law and order issues being faced in the once peaceful town.

Madang MP Bryan Kramer says most of the law and order issues can be attributed to the fact that most of the trouble makers and drifters from neighbouring provinces have taken refuge in the town area.

“Madang now has become one of the crime capitals of the country, simply because every trouble maker has come to Madang.”

The Member says he intends to work with the Local level Government council and start to carry out social mapping of all Madang land and in terms of settlements, understand who the troublemakers are and ensure that they are evicted from the province.

“The law is very clear, if you occupy state or customary land illegally then you are committing a crime,” Kramer pointed out.

He says however that he understands this will be a complex issue, and adds that most settlements carry three to four generations who have contributed to the well-being of Madang, and such people he will allow to stay.

“Those individuals and families who are terrorizing Madang, then we will take the position to evict them from Madang.”

All those who are staying on state land are now doing so illegally, hence Kramer says he will be looking into interventions of how they can address it to make them ensure that they are staying there lawfully.

One of these arrangements is an Urban Development Lease (UDL) where the Lands office can issue out land over a short period of time, example 5 years. During that time, authorities can reorganise settlements so that they can be seen to be viable communities that contribute to society.

At present the Member says there is no order in settlement areas around Madang, with homes set up amidst drunkards and petty criminals where it is very difficult to manage.

He adds that under a UDL, settlers do not have to worry about being evicted but they will have to sign up to a proper community by-law through which the authorities can manage them.

At the moment, the member says he is getting overwhelming support from people that live in the settlements because they are the ones that are affected the most by the law and order issues in their communities.

Kramer says these people are tired now of the lawlessness and are looking to the administration to help them address these issues.

Julianna Waeda