Lae runs out of land


‘There is no more state-owned land left in Lae city,’ Morobe Province Administrator Kemasang Tomala told a World Vision meeting in Lae last week, according to The National.

Tomal told the meeting, attended by Morobe MPs, provincial and district administrators and officials, that provincial authorities were at loggerheads with customary landowners over the remaining land in and around the city.

‘This effectively means that unless a mutually a beneficial arrangement is reached between the parties, Lae’s anticipated commercial expansion is on hold indefinitely,” he is reported as saying. ‘The matter is compounded further by increasing external demands exerted by the economic boom.’

‘For the Provincial Administrator to say that the only land that is available for the city’s expansion is customary land is on the whole correct, only because the Government – albeit National or Provincial Government – has failed to plan ahead for Lae City’s development and acquire sufficient land accordingly,’ said Alan McLay, President of the Lae Chamber of Commerce and Industry, responding to Tomal’s statement. ‘One of the reasons for land shortage in Lae is the inappropriate and sometimes illegal allocation of land in the city. The result is that parklands, underwater leases, residential areas and even private houses have been allocated in a dubious manner. As requested time and time again, there should be an investigation into these deals.’

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