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PM Warns Contractors: No Shoddy Workmanship

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says he has put all of Government’s contractors on notice that they need to do better. Mr Bainimarama said Government would not tolerate shoddy workmanship. “It’s
14 Oct 2015 10:59
PM Warns Contractors: No Shoddy Workmanship
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama (with garland), Minister for Local Government, Housing, Environment, Infrastructure and Transport Parveen Kumar and assistant minister for Infrastructure and Transport Vijay Nath with the people of Rakiraki after the opening of the new Rakiraki bridge. Photo: DEPTFO News

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says he has put all of Government’s contractors on notice that they need to do better.

Mr Bainimarama said Government would not tolerate shoddy workmanship.

“It’s no secret that while we have all seen a massive improvement in national infrastructure under my Government, some of the new work hasn’t been entirely up to scratch,” he said yesterday.

Mr Bainimarama made the remarks when he opened the new $13.9 million Rakiraki Bridge.

“Yes, the extreme weather events we experience in Fiji – and especially the heavy rain – don’t help. But I have put all of our contractors on notice that they need to do better.

“When Fijian taxpayers plough hundreds of millions of dollars into upgrading the nation’s roads and bridges, they are entitled to get the best possible result.

“The nature of civil engineering projects means there will always be an element of risk. Of subsidence or something peculiar to the particular terrain that couldn’t have been predicted. But we will not tolerate shoddy workmanship on our roads and bridges.

“Just as we will not tolerate shoddy workmanship on any capital project we undertake to improve the lives of the Fijian people.

“I want to leave no-one in any doubt about my Government’s determination to get the best possible return on our investment – the biggest bang for our buck, as the Americans call it.

“We demand resilient infrastructure that meets international best practice. Roads and bridges that are built to the highest standards, are safe and, with proper maintenance, will give the Fijian people many decades of service.

“That means 100 years in the case of this project.

“With our scarce resources, we also need to build things that last. We must have quality in our infrastructure projects above all else. We insist on getting value for money for the Fijian taxpayer.

“Which is why I have instructed everyone in Government to insist on zero tolerance for the quick fix, for shoddy workmanship of any kind.

“We intend to take a very tough line with contractors who cut corners and don’t deliver a quality result. My message to them is simple: You are not welcome by my Government.

“My own office in Suva is the perfect example of where we have gone wrong in the past. There is nothing new about the so-called new wing of Government Buildings. It isn’t just one of the ugliest structures in Suva. It is so badly designed and the quality of workmanship is so poor that it really needs to be demolished and replaced after less than 50 years of service.

“The new wing was officially opened in 1967 and is already well past its use-by date. Yet it stands next to the magnificent Old Government Buildings which has been there from the 1930s and will still be there in 100 years. Because it was built properly. It was built to last.”

Feedback:  luke.nacei@fijisun.com.fj

 

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