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Prime Minister O'neil blasts officials over dodgy leases

Staff Reporter 3/14/2013 | |

Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister has blasted his public service over the granting of controversial leases covering more than 10 per cent of the country.
Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister has blasted his public service over the granting of controversial leases covering more than 10 per cent of the country.
In recent years more than 70 Special Agricultural and Business Leases, or SABLs, have been granted covering more than five million hectares.
Critics say the leases are a back-door way to clear-fell forests and many have been granted without the permission of traditional owners.
A Commission of Inquiry that's been investigating the leases has handed its interim report to the Prime Minister Peter O'Neill.
In a statement he says some agencies have failed to administer the law and "developers have enjoyed a free run".
Mr O'Neill says he'll table the report in the next sitting of parliament and also announce measures to improve the integrity of the public service.
The Commission's final report, which will examine each SABL, is due to be finalised in two months time.

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