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Lands department pushes for lands act

The Department of Lands, Physical Planning and Conservation has set its target to draw down the powers and functions of a land act from the national office this year.

According to the Secretary for the Department of Lands, Physical Planning and Conservation, Lynette Pokas, the target is set for this year and the department is working around the clock to have its own Lands Act.

The Department does not have its own Lands Act at the moment and it was a priority to work towards for this year, she said.

There are other priorities set on the department’s calendar as well. Ms Pokas said that the department also needed an environment and conservation laws and while officers are preparing papers for the drawdown of the power and functions of a Lands Act, they are also preparing to conduct awareness on climate change especially on refugees of climate change and the re-settlement of the victims around the region.

The Department attends to land administration and technical services as well as environment and climate change issues.

Ms Pokas said that another important project to achieve this year was the transferring of the files containing the details of applicants for land leasing around Bougainville.

She said that the project took long to complete because the files were based in Port Moresby and that it needed a lot of checking and confirmation of the names of the tenants and their land entitlements.

She added that when the project is completed then land tenants can access their files on a server provided by the department.

The department has a lands board that attends to cases of land leasing protocols and processes but still needs a physical planning board, she said.

She said that there was a lot that needed to be done this year mainly in the areas of awareness, draw down of powers and functions and memorandum of understanding agreements to be signed between the ABG office and the national office.

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