By JEFFREY ELAPA
RESOURCE owners and leaders from Kutubu in Southern Highlands do not want to be part of the proposed Hela province, The National reports.
Landowner chief Kossy Sosoro said the Kutubu people did not want to be included with the proposed province.
Resource exploration work had revealed that Kutubu, a sub-district of the Nipa Kutubu electorate, is rich in oil.
Sosoro said the separation of the Hela region from Southern Highlands had been initiated without any boundaries drawn.
While he welcomed the initiatives of Hela businessmen and politicians to convince the National Alliance-led government to have another province, Sosoro said leaders in Kutubu preferred that they remained in Southern Highlands.
"Separation from Southern Highlands is based on the huge landmass and population of the province so that goods and services can be equally distributed to the people," he said.
Sosoro said the Electoral Boundaries Commission must seriously look at identifying where to draw the line so that both people equally benefit politically and economically.
He said with Hela to benefit from the multi-billion-kina liquefied natural gas project, it was only fair that the oil, gas and gold from Kutubu, Gobe and Mt Kare remain in Southern Highlands.
He said the existing boundaries of Tari-Pori, Komo-Margarima and Koroba-Lake Kopiago could become part of the proposed province while Nipa-Kutubu, Ialibu-Pangia, Mendi and Kagua-Erave remained as part of Southern Highlands.