|BAUXITE BELIEVERS: Promises of premium rent.|
“Landowners who willingly choose to have their lands leased through the Land Use Decree will now be in a position to reap fair and just returns."
The Ministry of Information (January 10): In a momentous occasion, the Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama today designated the first parcel of land to be deposited into the Land Bank. These are land earmarked for bauxite mining at Nawailevu and Natuvu in Bua.
Commodore Bainimarama said landowners would gain a lot from depositing their land into the bank because Government identifies investors that can use their land. Additionally Government will ensure that landowners will receive the full quantum of the premium and land rent. “The deals that will be made will be in the best interests of the landowners and nothing will interfere with that,” he said.
Commodore Bainimarama signed the paperwork on the designation before members of the media this afternoon.
“The significance of the activation of the Land Bank is that many of our idle lands could now be leased through the Land Use Decree 2010 and be made productive for the betterment of landowners, investors and the country as a whole.
“Landowners who willingly choose to have their lands leased through the Land Use Decree will now be in a position to reap fair and just returns. They will also receive the full quantum of the premium and land rent. I know that this is one of the key issues that landowners have been calling for in the past decades.”
Government will also ensure the investors security of tenure.
The designation is the first, in a string of events that will kick start bauxite mining at Nawailevu in Bua. A surface lease is expected to be offered to mining investors Aurum Exploration (Fiji) Limited next week.
“I wish to thank Aurum Explorations (Fiji) Limited for its confidence in Fiji. I also wish to thank the landowners and the people of Nawailevu and Natubu in Bua for their faith and trust in Government in supporting the Land Reform initiative and the Look North policy. I have no doubt that the land reform will usher in a new era of land management in Fiji that will secure maximum returns for the landowners, investors and the people of Fiji,” he said.