Attorney-General Siromi Turaga has tabled the i-Taukei Land Trust Amendment Bill to repeal the i-Taukei Land Trust Budget Amendment Act.
Speaking on his motion in Parliament, Turaga said the Act was an amendment to remove the consent of the i-Taukei Land Trust Board for any mortgage charge, pledge, and caveat for any such lease to be dealt with by any court of law or under any process of any court of the law.
“The Act 22 of 2021 was tabled in Parliament under Standing Orders 51 by the FijiFirst Government without having conducting extensive consultation with Land Owning Units through the Provisional Councils or the Vanua.”
Turaga said that under the Section 11 of the i-Taukei Affairs Act of 1944, says any Bill introduced in Parliament which appears to the Minister for i-Taukei Affairs to affect any important matter in respect of i-Taukei, especially any Bill imposing to them or relating to traditional leaders or chiefs, local authorities shall be first referred to the i-Taukei Affairs Board for consideration.
“It is in the interest of Government to reverse the law under Standing Order 51 without proper consultations with members of the public or relevant stakeholders,” Turaga said.
The motion has been moved without notice, and the motion must set out how and when Parliament will deal with the Bill’s passage through Parliament – and that the motion to proceed without delay.
The proposed Bill will be debated on Thursday.