By EDDIE OSIFELO
LEADERS of Guadalcanal Province have rejected the proposed four concept bills affecting their land, condemn and issue seven demands for the National Government to consider.
This was agreed in the Guadalcanal Leaders’ Forum held at Maranatha Hall (Tandai Ward), on Wednesday 29, September 2021.
According to the resolutions, the Guadalcanal Leaders out rightly reject the following documents;
- Guadalcanal Affairs Bill 2021
- Guadalcanal Customary Land Bill 2021
- Guadalcanal Customary Land Commission Bill 2021
- Guadalcanal Customary Land Trust Board 2021.
Further to that, the Leaders condemn the National Government for secretly attempting to deprive us of protection of our rights and properties pertaining to ownership of customary land enshrined in the constitution without prior consultation.
In addition, they demanded the government to
- discontinue and abandon any further attempts to use Guadalcanal Province as a “sample or scapegoat’ for its land reform program.
- formally apologise to the Provincial Government and people of Guadalcanal for the disrespect and disregard of the sensitiveness and sacredness of customary land issues on the Island.
- establish a process that would facilitate the return of all alienated land on Guadalcanal including Honiara Land to descendants of original land owners and tribes by September 2022.
- continue and complete the process of granting greater autonomy to the provinces of Guadalcanal and Malaita as stipulated in the Townsville Peace Agreement 2000. Further take necessary action to introduce the Federal System of Government by August 2026.
- that the Truth and Reconciliation (TRC) Report be tabled in Parliament and implemented.
- review and amend the Mamara Tasivarongo Mavo Development Act 1995, in particular;
- repealing Section 14 and making provision, inter alia, to include the Town and Country Planning (Amendment) Act (Cap154) applies to all development activity in the Development area.
- Guadalcanal Province takes the position that Clause 12 of the Agreement signed between SIG and the Developer in relation to the imposition of property rates over the Mamara-Tasivarongo-Mavo Development area does not prevent the Province of Guadalcanal from levying property rates.
- Amend the composition of the Mamara Tasivarongo Mavo Board to represent the local community and Guadalcanal Province in relation to the sharing of rents due and payable to the Commissioner of lands, so as to distribute the rents in a more equitable manner for the benefit of the Guadalcanal Province and resource owners, including the customary owners of the sea fronts.
- establish and appoint a Special Committee to pursue and take meaningful steps on the above resolutions.