NATION | NEWS

Gounder Shipping Halts Runs To Lau, Creates Concern For Ministry

Mr Goundar said the company had suffered a loss of more than $4million last year and with the continuous increase of fuel prices, the company was struggling. “The franchise the Government is giving us is $11,000 for Yasayasa, $18,000 for Northern Lau and $25,000 for Rotuma and with the increase of fuel price what can we do with that much and we are expecting another increase next month.”
09 Jun 2022 10:30
Gounder Shipping Halts Runs To Lau, Creates Concern For Ministry
Minister for Rural and Maritime Development Inia Seruiratu at the Lomaiviti Provincial Council office in Nasova, Levuka on June 7, 2022. Photo: Inoke Rabonu

The decision by Goundar Shipping Limited to halt its franchise and private runs to the Lau Group and Rotuma has come as a concern to the Ministry for Rural and Maritime Development.

Minister responsible Inia Seruiratu said they respected the decision because it was a private decision by a privately owned company.

However, many people who depended on these services would be affected because of the abrupt announcement.

“As a rural and maritime stakeholder it raised many concerns in terms of accessibility for Lauans and Rotuman’s,” the minister said.

 

Goundar Shipping Ltd, managing director George Goundar said that the continuous increase of fuel price had affected the company.

Mr Goundar said the company had suffered a loss of more than $4million last year and with the continuous increase of fuel prices, the company was struggling.

“The franchise the Government is giving us is $11,000 for Yasayasa, $18,000 for Northern Lau and $25,000 for Rotuma and with the increase of fuel price what can we do with that much and we are expecting another increase next month.”

 

Mr Goundar said his franchise contract was due for renewal next month, however, he would only operate if fuel price drops to a reasonable price.

Minister Seruiratu said people from the two islands need to access services and their goods transported to the market.

He added the ministries would be meeting discuss better options soon.

 

“When shipping services to the general public, particularly to rural Fiji are affected, that will have so much impact on the families in remote islands,” he said.

They will be discussing better options available that can address the issue alarm and public anxiety.

 

Feedback:  inoke.rabonu@fijisun.com.fj



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