Fiji’s Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources Filimoni Vosarogo says their share in the 2023-2024, totalling $30.1 million, will enable the ministry to carry out its core mandates effectively, including the administration and regulation of the land and mineral sector.
He said their share, up by $6.9 million from the previous year, will support various initiatives including enhancing Fiji’s Geodetic Datum system, implementing land reform initiatives, digitising lease records, developing mineral resources, providing clean drinking water to communities, regulating the mining sector, and strengthening administrative and financial support.
“The Ministry will continue to ensure that we strike the right balance between the fulfillment of our role and function, support and encourage economic activities while ensuring that our environment and resources are sustainably protected and managed,” Vosarogo said.
“The budget now before the house is more realistic, prudent, and deserving of all our support in re-building our beloved Fiji together on the foundation of unity and mutual cooperation.”
Some key areas where the budget will be utilised include:
Enhancing Fiji’s Geodetic Datum system: The Department of Lands will receive support to improve the geodetic datum system, which will benefit surveyors in conducting activities such as the survey of Mahogany plantations and demarcation of land boundaries.
Land reform initiatives: The Land Use Unit will coordinate the implementation of the government’s land reform initiatives, aiming to create a fair and secure leasing environment for both tenants and landowners.
Digitisation of lease records: The ministry will continue its commitment to digitise lease records and develop a user-friendly and cost-effective lease administration digital platform.
Development of mineral resources: The Department of Mineral Resources will receive a boost to carry out initiatives like conducting a baseline survey of potential river aggregate sites and purchasing laboratory equipment for geochemical analysis.
Provision of clean drinking water: The budget will facilitate the provision of reticulated boreholes to rural and maritime communities, ensuring access to clean and safe drinking water, improved sanitation facilities, and better hygiene.
Regulation of the mining and quarrying sector: The ministry aims to sustainably regulate the mining and quarrying sector while promoting investment growth and equitable economic activity.
Corporate services support: The allocated budget will strengthen the ministry’s Corporate Services Division, enabling effective administrative and financial support to all professional and technical divisions.