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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Australian government to support Pacific countries with land administration program

The Australian government will spend A$54million over four years on what it calls the “Pacific Land Program”—an effort to “protect customary land rights, promote economic and social development, and reduce the potential for instability through land-related conflict in the Pacific.”

In the new Federal Budget, the Australian government has said A$6.5million will be allocated in 2008/09, to “support partner government-led improvements in land administration. Australian funding will help address the challenges to land use and ownership from urbanization. Clarification of land title is a key prerequisite for private investment. Funding will also improve the skills of professionals and semi-professionals in areas such as planning, surveying and valuing.”

The partnership will provide a new framework for Australia and the Pacific island nations to commit jointly to achieving improved development outcomes, on the basis of mutual respect and mutual responsibility,” the government says in a statement.

Australia will also invest A$127million over four years, with A$5.5million in 2008-09, to improve basic infrastructure services in the Pacific—including transport, sanitation, waste management, energy and communications.

The so-called Pacific Public Sector Capacity project will also see Australia allocate A$107million over four years, with A$6million in 2008-09, to strengthen public sector administration in the Pacific including management and policy reform.

Source: Pacific Magazine

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