The Land Act Amendment Bill.
(From the Wellington Post.)
The Hon. Mr Rolleston’s Bill to amend the Land Act, 1877, has now been circulated. It repeats the Crown Laud Sales Act, 1377, but validates all former proclamations, orders, warrants, &c. L pro ■ ides x ;:ir residence on deferred payment section", may bo declared optional if that course should seem advisable. The upset price of land on deferred payment is to be fixed by the Governor ; it is not to be less than 80s per acre for rural lands ami £4 10s per acre for suburban sections, ar,d the price may be augmented where the land is of special value. Several small contiguous sections may be groups I together if desirable. In regard to bush land, further clearing and cultivation are to b-j ranked among “ substantial improvements.” Where fencing, buildings, or other improvements have been made on hum afterwards opened for application on de: erred payment, the selector of such land is to pay the assessed value of such improvements. Two or more selectors may hold an allotment as tenants in common, and arc to have the same right to transfer as oi - I inary selectors. It is provided that the Governor may, by proclamation, sot apart any Crown lands contiguous to railway or road lines as village settlements, under the following conditions :
1. The total amount of land set apart as village settlements in the colony is not to exceed 200,000 acres. 2. Every village settlement is to he surveyed and divided into village allotments not exceeding 1 acre each, and small farm allotments not exceeding 50 acres each ; or, if the Governor so direct, a village settlement may be divided into village allotments only, or into small farm allotments only. 3. The Governor may fix a day on which any allotments within a village settlement shall be open for application, and may appoint that any of such allotments shall be sold for cash immediately on purchase, or on deferred payments subject to the conditions of the Act. 4. The price of village allotments is to he not less than £5 per allotment, and of small farm allotments not leas than £1 per acre.
5. All applications for land in village settlements are to be made in the same manner as other applications for land. 6. If more persons than one apply for the same allotment on the same dav, the right to occupy the allotment is to be determined by lot amongst the applicants in respect to small farm allotments ; but, in tlie case of village allotments, they are to be sold by public auction at an upset price of not less than £5 each.
7. Village allotments may be leased, with a ■purchasing clause at a minimum price of 30s per acre. Provision also is made for blocks of rural land being sot apart for special settlements, the conditions being as follows :—l. The total area is not to exceed 100,030 acres in the whole Colony. 2. The minium price is to be £1 per acre. 3. The Governor is to fix the terms of payment. 4 Occupation and permanent ■ improvement of the land to a certain proportion of its area, to be defined by regulations, to be a condition necessary to be performed before the issue of a Crown grant. 5. Neither the who’e nor any part of any block of land set asi le as a special settlement is to continue to be set aside for more than seven years from the proclamation. C. All lands within any special settlement block, not taken up with in seven years, are to be regarded as ordinary-Crown lands, and maybe thrown open for sale. It is further provided that the Governor may enter into contracts with persons or companies for special settlements, and that a rebate in price may be allowed in respect of immigrants introduced by such contractors, provided the immigrants are actually settled on the land and improving it. The Governor is to aflix the class, price, and terms of sale of urban, suburban, or rural lands, on immediate payment. Holders of pastoral licenses are allowed at the termination of their lease to remove building, fencing, or other improvements made by them while lessees. The above are the main provisions of this important Bill, the general principles of which, while the details may possibly undergo some modification in committee, will probably meet with general approbation as progressive and liberal.
A woman was recently fined iu London for creating a nuisance by keeping nine cats in one room. A Deserted Village. —ln Nevada, midway between Carson and Reno, the traveller sees a decayed and sleepy village, with perhaps a hundred inhabitants. In 1805 that was one of the most bustling camps on the coast. Its population was constantly shifting, but at any time during the height of its prosperity, it numbered over 3,000. The miners, farmers, prospectors and traders flocked in from all the country round to drink and gamble. Its streets were a scene of constant bustle and liveliness. Such was Washoe City in the days of its glory. But a few years saw it deseted and emptv, its saloons closed, its faro banks “busted.” To-day the tourist, whose careless eye rests upon its ruins, little dreams of its former magnificence.
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