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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Solomons Government Caucus recommends legislation amendment to immediately stop sale of crown land

By Nelson Ne'e, Chairman of Gov't Caucus

The Government Caucus has recommended the legislation governing crown land be amended to stop the growing resell of land by Solomon Islanders to foreigners.

The recommendation would be submitted to the Ministry of Lands and Housing to put on a cabinet paper for submission to the government for deliberation and endorsement at the cabinet level.

Chair to the Government Caucus, Central Honiara MP Nelson Ne’e said cabinet had received growing expressions of concerns from the Honiara public over the prevalent resell of crown land purchased by locals to foreigners.

Mr Ne’e said Solomon Islanders had been indulging in this unacceptable practice for the sole purpose of making a profit.

“Solomon Islanders had been buying land and reselling for larger amounts of money to foreigners.

“There are some cases where crown land purchased by Solomon Islanders remained undeveloped for long periods of time because the purchasers wanted to sell them for a profit instead of developing them. This prevalent unacceptable practice must be stamped out.

“There are also some blocks of land purchased by foreigners that have not been developed and the Commissioner of Lands and Survey must reacquire those parcels of land and tender them out for purchase by indigenous Solomon Islanders for development,” he said.

The Caucus Chairman said caucus has therefore recommended all undeveloped land to be compulsorily acquired by the Commissioner of Lands and Survey and be made available to credible local developers.

He said caucus has proposed that the Ministry of Lands and Survey to immediately impose a ban on the allocation of crown land pending the amendment of the legislation governing crown land.

The government caucus is tasked with the role to gauge credible public views on national issues. It filters the public submissions before forwarding them to the responsible ministries to take up to cabinet for endorsement.

The Prime Minister and cabinet ministers are party to meetings of the Government Caucus.

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