Lands Minister Justin Tkatchenko

Customary land will always remain with LOs: Minister

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

Stakeholders involved in the discussions included financial institutions, the mining, oil and gas sector as well as property developers.

Lands Minister Justin Tkatchenko said items and concerns were presented on how customary land can be shaped and moulded to benefit landowners and especially the future generation.

The Lands Minister stressed that customary land will always remain with the traditional landowners.

Summit for traditional landowners

Over the next four months, regional consultations will be held between landowners, developers, financial institutions and government agencies over customary land.

The first summit will be next month in Port Moresby, and will target stakeholders and partners in customary land development, including customary landowners.

“We want to hear your suggestions and recommendations on how we can make customary land issues and the laws more better to serve our customary landowners and people,” said Lands Minister Justin Tkatchenko.

Lands Dept under audit

Lands Minister Justin Tkatchenko recently revealed that a consultant has been assisting the department in its reform.

Samuel Zeller is with the Lands Department courtesy of the Australian High Commission.

From the Economic Governance and Inclusive Growth Partnership, Zeller, who started with the Department in October 2018, is conducting a full audit of every single division.

“To ensure we are completely modernised and completely audited so we can take our department to the next level,” stated Tkatchenko.

Juffa questions Minister on SABLs

Lands Minister Justin Tkatchenko revealed this when responding to Northern Governor Gary Juffa yesterday.

Following the inquiry into SABLs and recommendations to cancel them, Juffa asked what the Lands Minister’s Plans were to cancel them.

“Will the fraud investigators that you have engaged to investigate crimes within that department be also able to extend those services to cover the SABL and the massive crime perpetrated by the corrupt public servants and the illegal logging pirates that have operated in that department?” Juffa asked.

Syndicate part of evictions: Tkatchenko

He said he will work with Housing Minister John Kaupa to investigate and catch the leaders of the syndicate, who are orchestrating evictions on unsuspecting families.

Tkatchenko vowed to do this after a 67-year-old woman and her family were left in trauma after a group of bush knife wielding men, and armed individual, terrorised them into vacating the home they have lived in for 37 years at Sabama, NCD.

Armed men attack Sabama family

Aora Avee and her family were forced by a group men, numbering 20, to vacate the home after the group claimed they had the title to the home, which is a National Housing Corporation property.

Quick intervention by Police from Badili saw the arrest of 13 perpetrators and stopped any further destruction.

Avee said in all her life, she had never experienced something so terrifying, when the armed men broke down the gate and began to destroy property and chase them out.

Minister uncovers guns fiasco

And a shocked Lands Minister Justin Tkatchenko wants to know why?

He said the guns were purchased during the election period with the police commissioner issuing the licence upon the former secretary’s direction.

The licence holders are not even public servants.

Minister Tkatchenko wants the two Guns handed over the police.

He described the situation as “Total Disgrace”.

 “I backed the Prime Minister’s call and other leaders of our country, I backed their call to totally ban guns in PNG.

GG’s office jeopardized by single individual: Minister

This was the comment made by Lands Minister Justin Tkatchenko following the publishing of the ‘Land Board Appeal Decisions’ on page 49 of the Post-Courier on Thursday.

Minister Tkatchenko labeled the published document, which was endorsed by the acting official secretary to the Governor General, Bill Toraso, as illegal and misleading.

“These land appeals are still in question and they are still not rectified yet,” he said.

“And for the official acting secretary of the Governor General to publish these land appeals is totally illegal.

Incompetence a factor in lack of lands meetings

East Sepik Governor Allan Bird has entered into a partnership with the Lands Department to host the much-needed meet in his province.

Lands Minister Justin Tkatchenko said the Lands board meeting, which should be heard on the second week of June, has been co-funded by his department and ESP.

“There are so many land issues throughout our country that need to be addressed. And the only board that can make the approval is the PNG Lands Board,” Minister Tkatchenko stated.

Tkatchenko slams acting Secretary’s comments

The acting official secretary has reportedly said the Head of State is not bound to accept and comply with recommendations from the Lands Minister.

However, during a press briefing today, Lands Minister Justin Tkatchenko refuted the statement, saying the Lands Minister gives the final advice or approval, while the Governor General is then given an advice for him to ‘only’ endorse.

This falls under Section 62 of the Land Act 1996.