The Office of the Governor General is seeking Court eviction orders to remove illegal settlers that have settled on land belonging to the State on which the Governor General’s Office and Government House is located.

Acting Official Secretary Mr. Bill Toraso said illegal settlers have been given advance notices and time to remove their structures and move out, however, to date they have not done so.

“On instructions from the Governor General, he has held talks and meetings with the concerned parties since 2020 as well as on three separate occasions in 2021, but so far the illegal settlers have refused to move”, Mr. Toraso said.

He said out of compassion, they have notified the illegal settlers to move out of the land surrounding the perimeters of Government House as it is State land.

“We gave them an additional 31 days as of 2nd December 2021, which has since lapsed, but they have refused to leave and we are now seeking legal advice, and in addition, Court eviction orders to remove these illegal settlers,” he said.

Mr. Toraso stated that they also had discussions with traditional landowners of the land and this matter is before the Department of Lands to pursue with the genuine landowners.

“Traditional landowners have also confirmed that those settlers are not traditional landowners but squatters settling on State land.

Mr. Toraso stressed that an amicable solution was sought to settle the matter with the settlers but so far, but the settlers have not been cooperating.

“The national Government has allocated funding for expansion of Government House to include staff housing and the completion of the perimeter fencing for the entire boundary of Government House but we have yet to undertake and complete these projects because State land is been illegally settled on by these settlers,” Mr. Toraso emphasized.

The land area, on which the Office of the Governor General and Government House is located, is located at Granville area of Port Moresby accessed via D’Albertis Street from Champion Parade, Lot 6. Sect. 47, and has a total land area of 4.503 hectares.

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