16 Dec 2004

Australia reveals aim to help resolve land disputes in Solomon Islands

9:09 pm on 16 December 2004

The Australian government is ready to provide assistance for any body set up to solve land disputes in Solomon Islands.

Disagreements over land ownership were factors in the recent years of conflict.

Australia's Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Bruce Billson, who visited Honiara this week with a parliamentary delegation, says Canberra wants to help any process that can bring justice over land disputes more quickly.

"I believe a discussion paper has been released on that with an endorsement from the Government. That is an encouraging measure that would see a faster way for getting justice for land disputes through an alternative dispute mediation process. We are encouraged by that and have asked the Chief Justice about his ideas in that area and we are very interested in those."

Mr Billson says Australia will help but the solutions must come from Solomon Islanders.