Land Leases Act amendment to allow case-by-case forteiture of in-breach leases

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Prime urban real estate: Government is investigating the possibility of forfeiture of a dozen urban leases that are in breach of their lease conditions

Minister for Land Ralph Regenvanu has told Daily Post that the Land Leases Act is to be amended so that breaches can be dealt with on their own merit and so that breaches of conditions other than non-payment of land rent can be isolated from the payment of rents. It comes about because Government is investigating the possibility of forfeiture of a dozen urban leases of prime real estate. Continuing payment of rent is understood to nullify forfeiture processes and has taken place where some of these leases are concerned. The Minister is seeking to overturn this provision.

Another land matter is the paid press statement of the Bouffa/Bellevue custom land owners and their families. Hundreds of titles are listed and a plan of the 6,020 hectares of land is shown taking in the area from the USP/Bellevue Road corner to the Teouma River. The custom owners claim various governments have given away their land but have never required the payment of a premium. The custom owners are now requiring payment of outstanding land rents from their tenants. (Daily Post)

Government officials are alleging corruption and mismanagement of the European Union’s Copra Oil Energy Generation Project on Ambae. The project was scheduled for completion in 2013. Fraud has dogged the project at different stages and Vt 21 million has gone missing. Audit reporting continues. (Daily Post)

After almost half a day of briefing the media, the Daily Post editorial says about all that can presently be said regarding the plans for income tax – “Fools Rush In”. The Vanuatu Daily Digest endorses that opinion. Not enough work has been done to satisfy the community before the Consultation Campaign Train takes off for the outer islands. It will be all too easy, too, for bijou resort owners, backbenchers and two-day plantation owners to find likewise.