Saturday, 11 October 2014

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

Government Vehicles

So some government vehicle drives still think they are exempt from road rules.

I have some advice - each driver must have at least 10 years driving experience before he or she can  be given authorisation to drive a government vehicle. They must undergo a defensive driving course that they will pay for. They must have no previous record of accidents.

Each morning the driver together with the officer in-charge will inspect the vehicle for dents, when the driver returns in the afternoon the office in charge will inspect the  vehicle, and damages will be noted and if it is established that it was from neglect, the driver will pay for the repairs. No excuses.

Just compare our government vehicles with private company vehicles and you will see the difference. And just have a look at the Public Works Department yards all over Fiji  and you will see all the old vehicles that could have been looked after a little better but are now junks rotting away.

We need to put our foot down and take drastic measures, our tax is being wasted.

Ban Plastic Bags

This is from the ABC News on the Internet: California lawmakers have approved a measure that would make the state the first to impose a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags.

Senators who had previously opposed the bill, including incoming Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, a Los Angeles Democrat, this time supported the measure after protections were added for plastic bag manufacturers.

It includes $2 million in loans to help manufacturers shift to producing reusable bags and lets grocers charge 10 cents each for paper and reusable bags.

The bill had sparked one of the most contentious debates in the last weeks of the legislative session, with aggressive lobbying by environmentalists and bag manufacturers.

For years, a statewide plastic bag ban has been an elusive goal for lawmakers trying to reduce the buildup of plastic waste in oceans and waterways that costs millions of dollars to cleanup. About 100 local jurisdictions in California already have adopted similar bans, including Los Angeles and San Francisco.

We can do the same in Fiji by banning single use bags, and get the companies to  make bags that can be used again and again. And let's charge shoppers 10 cents for each plastic bag with the money collected to go into a fund to pay for environmental clean ups.

One thing I admire about the Gujarati shopkeepers is that they always have their cloth bags.They are way ahead of the rest of us.

By the way, if you go to the Vunato rubbish dump the most visible items there are plastic bags and bottles.

Allen Lockington is a self-employed customs agent and business consultant who has regular articles published in Fiji. I thank Allen for permission to reprint some of them in this political blog. They remind us that life goes on, whatever the political situation. And it's good to know that.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Allen,

    May I please make an addition to your suggestion on Govt. vehicle drivers:

    I would like to suggest that Govt. puts in place a policy in which Govt. drivers who's involved in an accident and was at fault be only allowed one chance within a period of 3 years. Thus 2 accidents within a 3 year period and orders should be given for the driver's employment to be terminated.

    This way, drivers will be very cautious in driving Govt. vehicles.

    On the other hand, a driver friend once told me that Govt. has a vehicle policy that vehicles should be replaced after every 6 years. (This means that at the end of 6 years the value of the vehicles recorded in Govt. 'financial books' is now nil). However a lot of Govt. owned vehicles (not the leased ones) are more than 6 years old - some are more than 10 years! With this situation it makes me wonder whether the above policy may need adjusting - for e.g.for vehicles more than 6 years old Govt. driver should only be allowed 2 chances within a 3 year period hence on the 3rd the driver's contract should be terminated.

    Just a thought as I've heard some drivers had been involved in a couple of accidents that were caused by their own neglect but are still driving for Govt. It seems there's no policy on this.



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