Deputy PMs welcome Bill to repeal the Media Act, LOP waiting for contents of the Bill

Deputy PMs welcome Bill to repeal the Media Act, LOP waiting for contents of the Bill

By Mosese Raqio
Wednesday 29/03/2023
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Communications Manoa Kamikamica, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Professor Biman Prasad, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Civil Aviation Viliame Gavoka, and Leader of the Opposition Inia Seruir

The Deputy Prime Ministers in the coalition government say it is only right that the Media Industry Development Act 2010 is fully repealed while the Leader of the Opposition has not made his stance known for now.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Professor Biman Prasad says it is a great decision to repeal the Media Act as it will allow the media industry in Fiji to develop its own regulatory mechanism.

He says the Media Act was designed to stop the media from holding the government to account, stop the media from critically analyzing the issues on the ground and also stop the media from expressing the views of the public.

He says when they were in the opposition, they always opposed the Media Decree which was later on converted into an Act and was done by the previous military government where it continued to treat the media to this day with contempt.

Professor Prasad says they now have come into government and have given that freedom to the media with the repeal of the Act which was one of the promises and decisions they made throughout their campaign and he hopes the media industry will start planning and organising to put in place a very powerful and well organised Media Council which can help the media industry to regulate themselves.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Civil Aviation, Viliame Gavoka says he is thrilled about the tabling of this Bill and they have welcomed it.

He says it started off as a decree before it became a law and it was draconian.

He adds they have been against this law for years because it has limited our freedom.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Communications, Manoa Kamikamica says the Act was wrong as it was ill-conceived and there was no proper public consultations.

He also says the media industry has been living under a repressive environment for a long time and it is about time to be free now.

Meanwhile, Leader of the Opposition, Inia Seruiratu says he understands that submissions have been made to the committee and he is not sure whether they were represented or not.

He says he also understands there are some parties that want the Act repealed and so those are the options that they as parliamentarians being the legislators will be responsible for when it comes to the floor.

The Bill to repeal the Media Act 2010 is expected to be tabled in parliament next week.

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