On 19 March 2009 the Papua New Guinea (PNG) government unanimously passed legislation that allows long-term leasing by individuals of customary owned land (that is, clan land). This legislationâ€”the Land Groups Incorporation (Amendment) Act 2009 and the Land Registration (Customary Land) (Amendment) Act 2009â€”provides the basis for an economic growth path that should result in greatly increased living standards for all Papua New Guineans, most of whom have not seen any increase in their very low incomes for the past 30 years or so. The legislative changes thus represent one of the most, if not the most, significant economic and social reforms in PNG since independence. This article outlines the history of this important reform and discusses the hoped-for consequences. The way in which the reform was carried out has important lessons for those undertaking major policy and institutional changes. The reforms undertaken also have implications for the securing of individual title to Native Title land in Australiaâ€™s remote Indigenous communities.
|Publication status||Published - 2018|