1 Aug 2007

Former Solomons MP doubts changed land sale plan will help

3:39 pm on 1 August 2007

A former Solomon Islands MP says a new government plan to crack down on land sales to foreigners will do nothing but compound the problem.

The Solomon Islands Government Caucus is considering a change to legislation following growing public concern about unchecked development and skyrocketing land prices in Honiara.

It proposes putting all undeveloped land in the control of the Commissioner of Lands and Survey, who will then select what are described as credible local developers.

But Alfred Sasako, a former MP from Malaita, says this will do nothing to improve the situation.

He says the problem's one of corruption within the government itself.

"And once that system being proposed is put in place it [unchecked development] would spread like wildfire into other urban centres, provincial centres like Auki, Gizo, Noro, Munda, Kira Kira, you know, all these places."

Alfred Sasako says development is pushing up land prices, which means fewer and fewer Solomon Islanders can afford their own homes.