NATION

Qereqeretabua’s Maiden Speech: At The Heart Of Environmental Issues

AnnMary Raduva, 15, of Viwa in Tailevu said she was grateful yesterday after her campaign was recognised in Parliament by Opposition member Lenora Qereqeretabua. In a compelling speech, the National
30 Nov 2018 11:16
Qereqeretabua’s Maiden Speech: At The Heart Of Environmental Issues
Opposition Member of Parliament Lenora Qereqeretabua (middle) with Parents Radike and Eta Qereqeretabua outside Parliament on November 29, 2018. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

AnnMary Raduva, 15, of Viwa in Tailevu said she was grateful yesterday after her campaign was recognised in Parliament by Opposition member Lenora Qereqeretabua.

In a compelling speech, the National Federation Member of Parliament’s maiden address was focused on environmental issues and highlighting a push for real change.

One of the highlights of her speech was on AnnMary’s ‘Say No to Balloon Releasing’ campaign.

The 14-year-old of Adi Cakobau School was later interviewed on how she felt about her campaign being taken at Parliamentary level.

“I am grateful for the mention in Parliament of my campaign and I hope to create more awareness on balloon releasing and balloon pollution,” she said.

“It may seem like a least priority but balloons have similar effects to plastic bags, straws and the plastic crisis we are addressing today.”

AnnMary started her campaign after watching a balloon release recently to celebrate the launch of Walesi, and after watching a YouTube video with her 11-year-old sister which showed turtles and seabirds dying from swallowing plastics and bits and pieces of balloons.

“She deserves credit and assistance to not only see her project succeed, but to promote her as an activist,” Ms Qereqeretabu said of the young activist.

Ms Qereqeretabua also questioned: “How many single use PET bottles does this house go through each day, each week?”

 

I reckon during one working day, more than 100 single use plastic bottles? For this chamber alone? Multiply that by five days and you have a lot of plastic bottles.

“I would like to invite this House to please consider phasing out single use plastic water bottles.

“Our parliamentary offices have filtered water dispensers, which are a blessing.

“Why can’t all of us honourable members consider bringing our own reusable water bottles from home and filling them up at the dispensers?

“Or, God forbid, why can we not just drink plain tap water like most of the people who voted us in here?”

Ms Qereqeretabua also:

  • called on the Government to introduce Legal studies to Year 9 students in order to raise Civic minded citizens
  • questioned why our indigenous languages could not be used in Parliament?

She said: “Why should this House only be a place for people who can speak good English? How can we talk about preserving our unique languages – our many Fijian dialects, our special Fiji Hindi – if we cannot speak those languages here?

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

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