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Gary Juffa is the real hero stopping illegal logging

Gary Juffa in parliamentPNG EXPOSED

PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill may have been making a song and dance in the media about getting tough on illegal logging - but the real hero is Oro Governor Gary Juffa

Despite O'Neill's promises, he has done nothing to stop the illegal logging operations ripping through PNG forests and has done nothing to cancel the unlawful SABL leases.

That record stands in stark contrast to the proactive stance taken by Gary Juffa.

In 2014 Juffa backed the Collingwood Bay landowners with financial, legal and moral support in their court battle against the illegal SABL lease over their land. As a result the lease was declared null and void and subsequently cancelled.

Now Juffa has added a stop work notice against the logging operations of Yema Gaiapa Developers Limited and Viva Success Limited to his record on fighting illegal logging.

The stop work notice was not the result of the prime minister’s efforts, neither did it come about through the effective working of the PNG Forest Authority or the National Forest Board.

The victory was the result of unrelenting pressure from the Oro Governor and his refusal to take no for an answer.

Mr Juffa on hearing of the announcement was quick to say: "Justice prevails finally prevails.”

“We now wish to pursue a civil case to recover damages. The firms have been trespassing and unlawfully logging for decades and I have been adamant that they must stop.

"In fact, if they were not dealt with by the National Government we had earmarked them for removal early next year by force."

One wonders why the governors of East and West New Britain, East and West Sepik and New Ireland to not show a similar resolve to protect and defend their people in the face of illegal logging and land grabbing.


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