15 Aug 2006

Qoliqoli owners ready to talk compensation with land users

10:19 am on 15 August 2006

Indigenous Fijian landowners are preparing to negotiate compensation claims once the ownership of the country's foreshores passes to them when the government's Qoliqoli Bill is passed.

The chairman of the Viti Land and Resource Owners Association Ratu Osea Gavidi, has told Radio Legend that they are ready to discuss compensation with hoteliers and others who use the foreshores for commercial purposes.

Ratu Osea says it is unfortunate that hoteliers, diving and surfing operations and water sports companies have used their foreshores commercially without any compensation so far.

He says with the return of the foreshores to indigenous owners the wrongs of the past can be put right.

Ratu Osea also wants ownership of the foreshore to be vested not with the Native Lands Trust Board but with individual landowning units so they can negotiate their own compensation.