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$1.6m royalty payout

Mere Naleba
Friday, July 11, 2014

MEMBERS of the Matanikorovatu clan from Kalabu Village were all smiles on Wednesday as the Prime Minister Rear Admiral (Ret) Voreqe Bainimarama handed them a $1.6million cheque as royalty payment for land used as the Nasinu Quarry by government in 1931.

The 44 members of the clan are those who are above the age of 18 years and each member received $18,000.

The other members of the clan who have not reached the age of 18 will receive their payment when they are of age.

Rear Admiral (Ret) Bainimarama told the men and women of Kalabu Village that their contribution to the nation's development in providing their piece of land had benefited the country as a whole.

He said the Laqere Government Quarry also known as the Nasinu Quarry supplied the then Department of Roads with materials for roads.

"The nation thanks you for that contribution. Today demonstrates the truth of what I have been saying all over Fiji — that native land is absolutely safe.

"And even if it's used for some purpose, the owners get compensated. And if it is no longer required for the public purpose, it gets returned to the landowners. This is under the Constitution."

Clan member Asaeli Malewa said it had been a long wait and they were finally happy with the outcome of several discussions they had with relevant stakeholders.

Mr Malewa said 14 members of his immediate family received their cheques and they planned to invest part of their money, and also allocate some funds for his grandchildrens' education.

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