Australian Banks fund PNG Land Grabs

26 May 2014

Financial records reveal that ANZ and Westpac have had financial relationships with companies found by a PNG commission of inquiry in 2013 to have abused a land leasing scheme. One of these companies, Independent Timbers and Stevedoring, which controls 2 million hectares of PNG land via the leasing scheme, was in late 2010 issued a $240,000 bank guarantee by ANZ. The PNG inquiry has accused ITS of engaging in “deceptive and clearly fraudulent” conduct to obtain large tracts of land from local communities and said the company should be probed for possible involvement in “international racketeering over land acquisition”. ITS has rejected the inquiry’s report.