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Advance goodwill payments illegal

January 21, 2021 7:20 am

Pine landowners have been reminded that accepting advance payment or goodwill payment is illegal.

iTaukei Lands Trust Board General Manager Northern, Peni Qalo, told the landowners in a meeting in Bua yesterday, any direct money they received from private sawmillers is illegal.

Qalo issued the reminder after landowners sought to uplift the suspension on harvesting overplanted pine.

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Landowner Sitiveni Solei told those present at the meeting that when the suspension happened, sawmillers were already in the harvesting process.

Solei says many of the mataqali members have also received payment from the sawmillers for the pine being harvested.

The Ministry of Forestry had placed the suspension due to a conflict over the overplanted area.

Fiji Pine Group is wanting to harvest the overplanted area but landowners are telling them to back off.

The landowners then engaged the services of private sawmillers to harvest the overplanted pine.

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