News and Commments Friday 7 October 2011

WEEKEND READING. • Allen Lockington Column • Economic Freedom and Human Values  
Click to enlarge
• Graham Davis The Foreign Media's Coverage of Fiji, Past and Present • And possibly more. Watch this space.

ACUTE WATER CRISIS IN TUVALU. Health Minister, Dr Neil Sharma, said “A clinical medical specialist team from CWM Hospital can be available within six hours notice for deployment.

There are adequate stocks of certain antibiotics but the low stock of other items has prompted our Chief Pharmacist to make supplementary orders to UNICEF for oral rehydration solutions (ORS), intravenous fluids and elixir and tablet paracetamol.”  Clinical support services from CWM Hospital are available in terms of beds, clinical management (including surgery) and personnel. The minister said the public health/clinical team could also be organised when the need arose to travel to Tuvalu. Fiji will help as much as it can. -- Based on No:1884/MOH. The NZ media make mention only of aid from NZ, Australia and the US.

FLY THE FLAG FOR FIJI DAY. MOI Permanent Secretary Sharon Smith-Johns said Government is urging people to fly the Fiji flag outside their homes and offices as part of Fiji Day celebrations. She said Fiji Day is the only time of the year when citizens remember how Fiji was given the responsibility to govern the country without external influence. She added that the best way to celebrate Fiji Day is to reach out to those who are less fortunate.

REMOTE AREA ALLOWANCES TO HELP RURAL DEVELOPMENT.  Single civil servants posted away from their home bases  to work in rural and maritime areas will receive a Locational Allowances of $1,200 p.a. and married officers $1,800 p.a.backdated to August 1st. And all officers in these areas living in Government houses (other than doctors and nurses who will receive free housing) will have their rent dropped from 8 to 4% of basic salary from October 1st.

In announcing these changes, the PM said the measures are a response to appeals from the officers affected and are intended to improve service delivery in rural and maritime areas. The allowances will be sourced from the respective ministerial budgets and will replace all previous allowances.-- Based on No:1874/PSC.

POLICING RURAL AREAS. The iTaukei Affairs Board and the Police signed a memorandum of understanding yesterday that will establishing a rural policing partnership. The MOU is an outcome of National Consultation on proactive approaches to curb drug cultivation and the need to find alternative community-based approaches for effective rural policing. Police will closely liaise with all Roko Tui in the organization of drug awareness programmes and in finding ways to strengthen community policing within iTaukei communities. -- Based No:1885/MiT.

LAND BANK v. TLTB LEASES. The 2010 Land Use Decree aimed to bring more idle unused land into productive use by setting up Land Banks. Landowners offered their unused land to Government for 99 years and Government looked for leasees. Once leased, landowners receive a higher, government-backed, rental (10% of Unimproved Capital Value compared to the iTaukei Land Trust Board's 6%); payment are regular, and leasors receive all the rent (The TLTB deducts about 15%). So  far, some 2000 hectares are in Land Banks.The demand for land by overseas investors continues to grow and requests for four to five acre lands for residential purposes have also been received from locals. The Land Banks are one of several reforms Government intends to have in place before the 2014 general elections. -- Based on Fiji Sun.


sara'ssista said…
Perhaps the media in aus and nz announced aid from aus and nz as they have actually delivered it, not offered it. Does fiji have an air force Hercules delivering aid? Fiji is offering aid that is 'available' and even then others will do all the heavy lifting as usual. Doesn't fiji have it's own water and health crisis? Perhaps they may get a some help from Azerbaijan or Benin?

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