PLANT site landowners in the four PNG LNG project-impacted villages should use the project as a catalyst to do business, says a housing estate developer.
Edai Town Development Limited director Kym Yong said locals should focus on doing business by using their land royalties.
“The project will attract more people to the project area – those who will come to work, those who will come to buy homes and reside at the Edai town which is expected to grow to cater for more than 10,000 people once the third phase of the project is completed including the villages as well,” she said.
Yong said the PNG LNG project would end one day and the landowners should invest the royalties they were paid.
“The people need to focus on what will happen once the project life ends,” she said.
“The project is short-term. For instance, in its construction phase, the people can find employment, so as in its production phase. But once all of these end, life will still go on.”
Yong said it was important for the people to make business plans and benefit from the project in terms of setting up trade stores and resorts for example.
GULF Governor Chris Haiveta has promised to support his people in resolving their landowner issues quickly so that they can be paid royalties due to them.
The Mineral Resource Development Company handed out the first PNG LNG royalty payments to the 14 clans of Boera village yesterday.
Haiveta said it was no coincidence that the people of Boera were the first to receive their royalty payments among the landowners along the PNG LNG project impacted areas.
“This occasion is historic in many sense because the Hiri tradition binds Gulf which also included Southern Highlands and Hela a long time ago into one trade route that started at Boera village,” he said.
Haiveta said the first Lagatoi according to tradition set out on the very first trading voyage from Boera village, followed the trade link to Gulf and ended up in Southern Highlands and Hela.
“And it is appropriate that in this project, the Boera people have organised themselves ahead of every one of us,” Haiveta said.
Haiveta said he would assist his people to resolve their issues so they could receive their benefits too.
“Their Incorporated land groups are formed, their pipeline company will be formed and registered and that we will also start this process,” he said. “The main thing is to ensure that the process is fixed and set.”
Petroleum and Energy Minister Dr Fabian Pok said royalties for landowners from pipeline and upstream areas were still with the Central Bank awaiting the conclusion of the clan-vetting process.