NEWS

Namosi Landowners Not Invited

The Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources, Mereseini Vuniwaqa yesterday confirmed the three-day professional development retreat on the role of Parliament in Extractive Industries at the Pearl Resort was for
28 Aug 2016 10:59
Namosi Landowners Not Invited
Members of Parliament at the workshop. Photo: Fiji Parliament News

The Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources, Mereseini Vuniwaqa yesterday confirmed the three-day professional development retreat on the role of Parliament in Extractive Industries at the Pearl Resort was for parliamentarians and not for landowners.

The retreat that ended last Friday was intended to provide Members of Parliament an opportunity to explore their role in improving the effective management and oversight of the extractive industries. To understand what is required from the Parliament’s side to ensure its safe and continued development.

A group of landonwers had come to the venue – and some speaking on condition of not being named said they should have been included as the Namosi Joint Venture was.

Mrs Vuniwaqa said the programme was organised by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for parliamentarians.

Parliamentarians were told that with good governance and transparent management, the revenues from extractive industries can have a transformational impact on reducing poverty and boosting shared prosperity, while respecting community needs and the environment.

Some guest speakers were invited and there was also a presentation from the Namosi Joint Venture (NJV) as they were part of the extractive industry.

She said she was briefed by her line ministry Permanent Secretary, Malakai Finau about the workshop but there was no mention about the Namosi landowners wanting to present a petition against NJV.

Some of the landowners said that they should be included in that workshop.

“It is not for them,” Mrs Vuniwaqa.

National Federation Party (NFP) MP, Prem Singh who was at the workshop said the landowners entered the vicinity of the meeting on Friday and handed in a petition.

He said the petition would now be referred to the Natural Resources Parliamentary Committee.

The petition he said was on the mineral exploration in Namosi.

SODELPA MP Salote Radrodro said she was coming out of the workshop and saw the landowners on the road.

She said she was not aware of what they were after.

The group said that if the UNDP had allowed NJV to speak at the workshop, they should also be included to present their views too.

Chairman of the Tikina Namosi Landowners Committee (TNLC), Josefa Rauto could not be contacted for a comment as he was attending a funeral at Namosi village yesterday.

Feedback:  maikab@fijisun.com.fj



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