Wednesday 24th May 2017

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Justice for customary landowners in PNG

Customary landowners in Papua New Guinea can now seek justice for losing their land to illegal land grabbing, thanks to a new legal framework launched in Port Moresby. The new structure will help landowners take legal action against the developers or the government if their land is taken for so-called development, like the controversial Special Agriculture Business leases or SABL. Many customary land owners are increasingly losing their land through corrupt land deals orchestrated by Government officers and foreign companies involved in logging and mining developments. The framework has been designed by Dr Tim Anderson from the University of Sydney who has been looking into the value of land to landowners and their communities. Dr Anderson worked with "ACT NOW PNG" which is helping people keep their land.

Noble MP opposed to "power grab" by Tongan PM and Cabinet

A Tongan Noble MP says there is strong opposition in Parliament to proposed changes to the constitution giving more powers to the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Lord Fusitu'a says the aim is to take the power to make appointments to several neutral public offices such as attorney general, police commissioner and anti-corruption commissioner away from the Privy Council headed by the King, and give them to the Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister. He tells Bruce Hill this risks politicising what ought to be neutral appointments, describing it as a power grab.

Fiji cane farmer numbers dropping as industry faces bleak future

Five thousand Fiji cane farmers have given up over the last five years, and the President of the Fiji Cane Growers' Association, Attar Singh, concedes the industry is in a precarious state, and in the long run those farmers who remain will have to consider other options. Mr Singh says many Fijians have an emotional attachment to sugar, but he's warning that economist Padma Lal's claim that the industry has no future, may well prove to be right.

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