17 Nov 2003

Fiji GCC chair confident of land debate contribution

4:34 pm on 17 November 2003

The chair of Fiji's Great Council of Chiefs, Ratu Epeli Ganilau says he is confident that the council will be able to make a positive contribution to the debate over land leases.

Last week, the chief executive of the Sugar Cane Growers Council, Jaganath Sami, asked the chiefs to help solve the problem.

Mr Sami said they had turned to the chiefs because political leaders had not been able to find a solution.

Ratu Epeli agreed it was an important issue which the chiefs should consider.

He says the council has a paper prepared which offers some solutions to the land lease issue.

"The people who have had an input into this paper have not only had long experience in this, but they are actually some of the people who own land, who know what they are talking about. And I think they have put up a paper which is going to be in my view, very acceptable."

Ratu Epeli says there is still work to be done on the paper but he expects the council to make a concerted effort to sort out the land lease issue in the New Year.