Dear Editor – One of the issues that became very controversial and did catch the spotlight of the media a few years ago was the Gold Ridge landowners royalty payment ending up in the wrong hands.
That very scaring situation had not only left the concerned landowners amazed with disbelief but had also raised a number of questions related to the protection of the rights of landowners under the mining Act.
In light of that sad situation I wish to humbly ask the good government of the day to revisit the mining act and make amendments to some parts of it so as to prevent a repetition of that nightmare experienced by those unfortunate landowners.
This time round it will be the landowners of west Rennell that will fall victim if nothing is going to be done to patch the loopholes in the mining Act.
There should be a change to how royalty payments are being paid to landowners. Instead of going through the central treasury they should be paid directly to landowners accounts by mining companies. This will certainly give no loopholes for corruption.
On the same note may I also call on the officers of ministry of mines and energy and cabinet ministers who appeared to have personal connections with these foreign mining companies to stop serving their own interest but rather serve the interest of this nation.
Ministers don’t you forget voters are watching you in the glass house?
I also like to believe that the new Renbel provincial executive is working on some kind of legal documents to ensure west Rennell landowners do receive the maximum benefit they deserve from their scarceful land resources.
Mathew B. Baiabe Taiake