Charter Points the Way, Aussies on Fiji, Chinese Investment, Tuvalu Studies PSC, Unemployed Training
CHARTER POINTS THE WAY. National People's Charter Advisory Council Chairman Josefa Serulagilagi stressed that, while there is progress, the eleven pillars of the charter need to been seen incorporated in the running of government and the lives of the people. He was speaking this morning at the fifth meeting of the Charter Advisory Council. He also expressed concerns that some government ministries and departments are acting like politicians and looking after their own agenda and interest and not focusing on the task at hand.
PINE HARVESTS SHOULD REDUCE BUILDING COSTS. Fiji Pine Board member Ratu Jolame Lewanavanua said that harvesting of the pine plantations in Gau, Kadavu, Lau as well as other areas commences in two weeks' time should mean cheaper timber prices for the local market.This is in line with Government's plan to provide current and new home owners affordable options.
AUSSIE OPPOSITION WOULD open negotiations with Fiji's military ruler Frank Bainimarama for electoral reform as a way of breaking the current diplomatic standoff between Suva. If this means they will respond to Fiji's requests for legal, technical and financial assistance, great; but if they are still talking about dates, what's new?
Foreign Affairs Minister Stephen Smith said there are three priorities when it comes to Fiji.
(1) "To continue to keep pressure on Fiji both bilaterally and through international institutions like the Commonwealth;"(2)"We don't want to do things to hurt the people of Fiji, which is why we don't have trade sanctions and bans.(3) "Thirdly, and most importantly, we do need to continue in conjunction with the international and regional community to find some way of opening up an effective dialogue with the Commodore to return Fiji to democracy." In other world they will continue to pursue the policy that has proved so successful over the past four years.
Meanwhile, Lowy Institute's Jenny Hayward-Jones thinks Australian-Fiji relations have deteriorated. “Other Pacific countries want to talk to Fiji, and Australia and New Zealand are the only ones maintaining this 'don't talk' policy,” she said.
CHINESE COMPANY CONFIRMED.Speaking from China, the the PM said Tengy Group is ready to start cement manufacturing operations in Fiji immediately. The company has also been invited to set up wind farms to generate power for the country and at the same time register a company in Fiji. The PM returns to Fiji tomorrow Friday.
TUVALU STUDIES FIJI REFORMS. A three member delegation from Tuvalu’s PSC is in Fiji to obtain information on the operations and workings of Fiji PSC, and identify ways on how the two governments can work together in improving efficiencies and work practices in their respective public services.The team returns to Tuvalu next week.
UNEMPLOYED START TRAINING. More than six hundred unemployed have started a programME the government is calling "life long skills training". It is part of the National Employment Centre's Decree Initiative which forces unemployed people over 15 years of age to undergo this training or face a fine of up to $500.