ACT NOW! has published an updated version of its sucessful short video 'SABL Scandal Buried and Forgotten' to mark the six year anniversary of the SABL COI findings.
The stain of the SABL land grab is hanging over the head of the new Marape government says Community Advocacy group ACT NOW!
“It is now six years since the Commission of Inquiry reports were presented in Parliament revealing that over 5 million hectares of land had been stolen from the local communities”, says Campaign Manager Eddie Tanago.
“The Commissioners recommended the leases be cancelled, yet six years later the Nation is still in the dark as to how much land has been handed back to its rightful community owners”.
ACT NOW! is calling on new Lands Minister John Rosso to publish a full list of all the Special Agriculture Leases detailing their current status so everyone can see which leases have been surrendered, which have been cancelled and which still remain in effect.
“The SABL land grab was a massive fraud orchestrated by the government to steal customary land and give it to the logging industry under the guise of agriculture”, says Tanago.
“If the Mararpe government is serious about Taking Back PNG and serious about tackling corruption then it needs to show its commitment to openness and transparency”.
ACT NOW! says the previous O’Neill government made plenty of promises to end the land grab, stop the logging and return stolen land to communities but failed to follow through on those promises.
“The previous Minister for Lands made numerous contradictory and unsubstantiated statements about a review of the leases”, says Tanago.
“But he always refused to publish a list showing all the leases, their location, size and their true status”.
“This was despite numerous requests, public petitions and letters”.
“So far we have heard nothing from the new Minister on the SABL land grab”, says Tanago.
“A list of the leases is a very simple request and it should be easy to provide”.
"If a full list is not forthcoming, then the stain of the SABL land grab looks set to blight the record of the new Prime Minister and his government just as it did for his predecessor, Peter O'Neill.”