The whole-day forum which will be hosted by the Constitutional and Law Reform Commission at the Convention Centre at Waigani and is part of the consultations in NCD to gauge the views of the people on the review of laws on city planning and urban development.
The Commission, led by Commissioner Dr. Fiona Hukula and Acting Secretary Dorothy Mimiko-Kesenga, has been carrying out awareness on both FM 100 and NBC Radio talkback shows early this week as a lead to the forum.
“I appeal to the residents of Port Moresby to contribute as much as possible by either attending the public forum, or write to us, call our office or just visit us at Paragon Building, Waigani and leave your views, not only on the current review but on other reviews as well,” Kesenga said.
The key topics of discussion include the relevance of the outdated Cities Act of 1971, roles of Urban LLGs, Provincial Governments, district development authorities and city authorities, the informal sector, the relationship between the land board and the physical planning board, and urbanisation and migration among other pertinent issues affecting cities and urban areas in the country.
CLRC is also expected to meet and gauge the views of key stakeholders including NCDC, Lands and Physical Planning Department, Department of Provincial and Local Level Government Affairs, Department of Community Development and Religion, National Research Institute and the Motu Koita Assembly.
Kesenga said the review process requires CLRC to study relevant expert technical papers, international minimum requirements and practices, national government policies and assess with the views collected so that the recommendations whether legislative or policy are practically relevant for the country in line with international best practice.
Dr. Fiona Hukula also used the radio awareness to highlight the importance of the review in giving more prominence to the concerns of the land owners of cities and urban areas.
“One of the things we learnt from urbanisation in this country is how our local landowners, especially the Motu Koita people in Port Moresby, have really suffered as the city has grown and I think this is an opportune time to learn from some of those issues and try and make sure that we continue to engage with them,” Dr. Hukula said.
She added that with the rapid growth and urbanisation in the country, there could be emergence of other cities in the future and thus the current review could provide a window for proper planning to take into consideration the issues the urban landowners face.
The consultation has so far covered Wewak, Lae, Kokopo, New Ireland, Alotau and Goroka. NCD consultation begins this week which will be followed by the final consultation in Mt Hagen next week before a final report is submitted to the Justice Minister later this year.