NATION

Act is obsolete, says Minister

The Local Government Act of 1972 is an outdated docu­ment, says Minister for Local Government, Housing, En­vironment, Infrastructure and Transport Parveen Bala. He said the Act could not and does
01 Mar 2018 11:00
Act is obsolete, says Minister
Minister for Local Government, Housing, Environment, Infrastructure and Transport Parveen Bala speaking at the launching of the fifth Fijian Local Government Forum at Albert Park in Suva on February 28 2018. Photo: DEPTFO News

The Local Government Act of 1972 is an outdated docu­ment, says Minister for Local Government, Housing, En­vironment, Infrastructure and Transport Parveen Bala.

He said the Act could not and does not address the current needs of Fiji.

Appointed in 2015, Mr Bala said the Local Government Commit­tee was tasked to prepare a draft Terms of Reference for ministerial consideration and then submitted to Cabinet.

He clarified the roles of the com­mittee was to review processes.

“There are some misconceptions and resulting confusion about the role of the Local Government Com­mittee and Local Government Re­view Committee,” Mr Bala said.

“They are separate entities and they will remain separate.”

Mr Bala said the committee was to determine the extension of the boundary, to determine town and city declaration and to prepare draft terms of reference of the Re­view of the Local Government Act.

“Based on the Terms of Reference drawn up by the Local Government Committee after extensive consul­tations, a Local Government Act Review Committee will be appoint­ed with five members,” he said.

“This is a process that has to be followed. We at the Ministry and as a Government, we will follow the right process that’s need to be un­dertaken.”

He added that the Local Govern­ment Committee will complete the review process of the Local Gov­ernment Act.

The review, he said, was not only about the electoral system but oth­er Acts that need to be looked into.

“You cannot just do one piece of legislation and forget about all the other Acts,” he said.

“If we have to really deal with the local Government Act, then we have to look into all these Acts, this is what people fail to understand.

“We will do what we are supposed to do, and the right thing to do for the interest of our rate payers.”

The ministry will appraise and present the report to the Govern­ment for action, says Mr Bala.

Edited by George Kulamaiwasa

Feedback: selita.bolanavanua@fijisun.com.fj

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