By EDDIE OSIFELO
People living around the development at Mamara New Capital City in North West Guadalcanal are concerned about its progress.
According to Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Labour and Immigration, the project would involve the construction of 1,000 to 1,300 houses for public servants; these houses are expected to be completed just before the 2023 Pacific Games.
The Government had already purchased 50 houses for public servants from developer Metropolis Pacific PTE Ltd.
The Developer plans to build hotels and other businesses like supermarket in the second phase.
The Mamara-Tasivarongo-Mavo development project is guided by the Mamara- Tasivarongo- Mavo agreement Act.
The Act gives power for a council to decide and make important decisions regarding the development of the areas.
The council consists of four officials representing the government- the minister of Commerce, the minister of Lands, the Minister of Provincial Government and the Minister of Finance.
The Premier of Guadalcanal Province is also a member of the council as well as three investment members representing the developer, MPPL.
However, Guadalcanal Post-Conflict, Reconciliation Rehabilitation and Restoration Association (GPCRRRA) Western Region said the original plan of Mamara has changed.
GPCRRRA said ministers have purchased some houses there already and the people stay in fear and wait to see what government does next.
It said the government needs to address the abandoned land issues on Guadalcanal that is stipulate under the Townsville Peace Agreement.
“It is true of government not address but can spark anything.
“High Court of country try to deny TPA because it is just a mere agreement, but its pave way for peace,” GPCRRRA said.
According to GPCRRA, about 10 percent of registered land is on Guadalcanal with 95 percent customary.
It is concerned that some of the abandoned land are already occupied by people and investors without addressing the issue.
“We have no problem with Government policy to focus on major developments because Guadalcanal has given its land for Honiara city in the past.
“However, we want the Government to address some of the land issues because we can allow the extension of boundary in Honiara city,” GPCRRA said.
Secretary to Prime Minister Dr Jimmy Rodgers said the Government is to sit with Guadalcanal people and look at what the issues are and how they are best addressed going forward.
“Is not an easy solution it is something that exist for a long time but we want to make sure that land issues not just in Guadalcanal but all over the country are dealt with in a way that achieve its objectives.
“One that convert the economic potential of the land for the landowners and others and secondly actually gives some assurance that land owners ownerships are there and is recognised,” he said.
“For example, Denarau in Fiji, the formular they do there is what we are looking at.
“It basically in Denarau that landowners are in the same shareholders in every investment that comes there,” he said.
“Every hotel that has an investment there, Denarau landowners have percentage in the profit of the investment.
“The landowners constitute the majority of the land workforce that work in those,” he said.