NEWS

Speaker To Gavoka: Oral Questions Out Of Order

Ratu Epeli said the call for a declaration of a state of disaster was made by law under the National Disaster Management Act of 1998, which comes under the jurisdiction of the line minister.
14 Feb 2019 09:46
Speaker To Gavoka: Oral Questions Out Of Order

Speaker of Parliament Ratu Epeli Nailatikau yesterday ruled an urgent oral question submitted by Opposition parliamentarian Viliame Gavoka as out of order.

Under Standing Order 43, Mr Gavoka requested Parliament to call for the Government to declare a state of disaster on Draubuta Village in Navosa because of mudslides and flooding.

Responding to Mr Gavoka’s urgent oral question, Ratu Epeli said the call for a declaration of a state of disaster was made by law under the National Disaster Management Act of 1998, which comes under the jurisdiction of the line minister.

“Honourable members only Cabinet has the powers to make such a declaration given that it is not within Parliament powers to interfere with what is prescribed in law. I therefore rule that the urgent oral question is out of order,” Ratu Epeli said.

When approached during Parliament break, Mr Gavoka said he wanted relief assistance for the people of Draubuta Village.

“Their village got buried by mudslide and flooding recently in the past two days. Once the Government declares a state of disaster there, assistance will flow there, but it was disallowed,” he said.

Edited by Susana Tuilau

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