Member for Lae and Lands Minister, John Rosso, said the issue surrounding portion 20, section 67 at Markham Road was brought to his attention when he got elected and became the Lands Minister.
“I refused to sign the title at the time because – Lae is my home – I knew that it’s the middle of the road. How did it come to that stage?” Rosso said, referring to the access road connecting Lae League to the main road.
“But then they took it back to court again and the court instructed the Lands Department to issue the title to them so I had to sign it or face contempt of court.”
Rosso said the Lands Department was still working on sorting out the issue when the current fencing was erected.
“The building board in Lae should not have granted a building board permit for them to build. The building board does not come under the Lae City Authority; it comes under the Morobe Provincial Government.
“The building board was wrong in approving the structure to be built.
“Originally, when Lands refused to sign the title on the road and we were instructed to issue the title, the title for that particular section was surrendered and the one on the current field now was given to the particular person.
“So now the people have title to that but that is not the end of the matter. It will have other avenues to pursue and I can assure the people of Lae that those avenues will be pursued and I will also talk to the owners of the current field and give it back to the people of Lae.”
Rosso explained that he could not comment on the matter earlier as he had been away for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations meeting in Jakarta, Indonesia, when concerned Lae residents confronted Y&C Enterprise Ltd on July 13th.
“It’s basically common sense. We all live in Lae. If you see that is a recreational oval, you should not give building board approvals to a person who has somehow gotten a title to that land.”