Bill to amend the State Lands Act to be debated today

Bill to amend the State Lands Act to be debated today

By Dhanjay Deo
Thursday 12/05/2022
Parliament of FIji

The Bill to amend the State Lands Act 1945 will be debated in parliament today.

According to the Bill, in some instances, occupants of the land have, as a result of dispossession of land or due to political upheaval or cancellation or non-renewal of their leases or licences, resorted to seek refuge on other land, for which they were not lessees under the Act.

The lessees who permitted such persons to use the land in these instances did not obtain the consent of the Director of Lands making the arrangement unlawful under the Act.

The Bill further says many of the lessees cannot be located or do not have the capacity to subdivide the land which they sold a number of years ago.

The Bill seeks to amend the Act to empower the Director of Lands to re-enter such land and cancel any lease, licence or approval notice of lease accordingly. The Director of Lands may only do this upon confirmation of a contravention under the Act by a committee set up for this purpose. The committee shall be chaired by the permanent secretary responsible for housing and community development and include the permanent secretary responsible for lands and the Solicitor-General or his or her nominee, as members.

It says by amending the Act, it will be able to regularise the occupation of these lands and allow the occupants to build permanent homes through the mainstream financial system.


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