Buying of customary land is now illegal

The buying of customary land is now illegal, according to the Constitutional Law Reform Commission (CLRC).

CLRC Chairman, Dr Eric Kwa, says amendments to the Land Act and the Land Registration Act forbid the purchase of customary land.

In Port Moresby, the expensive real estate market and the potential business opportunities in the capital has brought a dramatic increase in customary land being sold, often cheaply, by landowners.

Dr Kwa says this practice is illegal and is calling on landowners, particularly the Motu and Koitabuans, to register their land and open it up in an appropriate manner for business.

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“Some of you that are going into these customary places and buying land by yourselves, we are coming to tell you that’s illegal.

“We want to have landowners within the city and towns to register their customary land and lease it. No sale!” says Dr Kwa.

The announcement by the CLRC will not go down well for many who have invested in building homes and conducting business on land purchased from landowners.

The Taurama Valley is an example of the number of people and businesses who have invested heavily in the land and infrastructure.

Dr Kwa made his comments during the Certified Practicing Accounts Annual Conference in Port Moresby.

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