Monday, April 23, 2012

Chamber: Lae running out of land for business

The industrial city of Lae is fast running out of land for residential and commercial development, according to the Lae Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Chamber president Alan McLay told The National that the lack of available land for residential and commercial development in Lae was a major concern as it is in most cities in the country.

An aerial view of busy Milfordhaven Road and the industrial heart of Lae…the city is fast running out of land for residential and commercial development.-Picture by PETER BOYD
“This land shortage is pushing up prices of developed land as well as rents,” he said.
“Landowners have taken advantage of the shortage of land to register customary land and then lease it to companies but as we are hearing from landowners themselves, this is causing social problems and could lead to disputes down the track.
“The lack of planning by the government to resolve this problem and to free up more land for appropriate urban development is a major handicap to the development of Lae City.
“The Ahi people commenced a land mobilisation scheme some years ago to address this problem and to overcome the illegal settlements that were springing up everywhere, but this scheme has floundered because of a lack of support and direction by the government.
“It appears that the government is reluctant to assist in a proper and planned development of this city and other urban cities in the country.
“Will Lae continue to develop in this ad hoc manner, where most of the expansion that is taking place is by unplanned land deals and settlements?”
Meanwhile, the LNG and mining projects are already having a profound impact on business in Lae.
McLay said there was already increase business in Lae for trucking companies, logistics firms and shipping agents; more vehicles being bought from vehicle distributors; and increased imports meaning more jobs for stevedores, and leases for storage of containers (Morobe provincial government and Lae urban local level government to benefit).
McLay said the K700 million Lae port project had not yet impacted on Lae, however, “presumably it will mean that there will be more jobs available, and hopefully local contracts”.
He is generally optimistic about the future of business in Lae.
“Given that the power and communications will improve and the roads are to be fixed, then business will continue to expand,” McLay said.
“The government must plan better for this expansion, and formalise the leasing of land.
“What I don’t want to see is a landless group of people, who find that greedy companies have taken all the land near Lae City.”

1 comment:

  1. The LNG and exploration tasks are already having a powerful effect on company in Lae.

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