Land Adjudication Bill Discussed

Monday 08th, November 2010 / 07:58 Published by

The Honourable Byran S. Woodside, Minister of State, Lands and Local Government, Office of the Prime Minister, commenced a series of meetings to garner views and recommendations on a package of Land Reform Bills for The Bahamas.

During a 6 weeks period (20th September to 28th October) meetings were held in New Providence, West Grand Bahama, Cat Island, Exuma and Long Island to

— expose stakeholders, interest groups and the general public to the Land Reform Package which included the Land Adjudication Bill, Registration of Lands Bills and the Law of Property Bill, and

— encourage stakeholders, interest groups and the general public to take advantage of the opportunity in creating a legal framework for ownership and registration of land in The Bahamas including but not limited to generation land.

Minister Woodside is pleased to advise that the meetings were productive and therefore successful.  The level of discussions and participation indicated the importance of land ownership to Bahamians.

The Bar Council, The Bahamas Real Estate Association, Clearing Bank Association, Land Surveyors Association, and private citizens in New Providence and the Family Islands voiced concerns, raised thought evoking questions and made insightful recommendations/suggestions relative to the Land Adjudication Bill.

The questions, recommendations and suggestions, which focused on the definition of generational land, the lack of appeal against a decision made by the Adjudication Officer and the amount of land that can be claimed ( 1 acre to 1 ¼ acre), have been noted and will be shared with the Law Reform Commission to inform the continued drafting of the Bill.

It was generally accepted that the land laws in The Bahamas were outdated; therefore the public fora were welcomed.  Expressions of gratitude were extended to The Bahamas Government for its initiative in providing, to a large cross-section of the Bahamian populace, the opportunity to not only discuss, but the impact these much needed reforms.

The Honourable Byran S. Woodside, Minister of State, Lands and Local Government, Office of the Prime Minister,  takes this opportunity to convey the Government’s appreciation and gratitude to the various stakeholders,  interest groups and  general public, New Providence and the Family Islands, for their support and full participation in addressing this very important issue of land reform and helping to create  the level of legislative reform much needed to address a number of land issues in The Bahamas.

The Public is reminded that the reform package of land bills may be accessed at the Government’s Website: www.bahamas.gov.bs  under “Bills Laws & Acts”.

Department of Lands & Local Government

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