Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for External Trade, Manoa Kamikamica says if the FijiFirst Party wants to talk about the environment then they should look no further than at how they have allowed Draunibota Bay in Lami to become derelict and the Malolo Island issue however, FijiFirst Party’s General Secretary Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says Kamikamica should get his facts right.
While responding to Opposition MP, Doctor Mahendra Reddy’s statement on the Government’s decision to lift the stop work orders issued against Laucala Island’s Hangar and a steel factory in Ba, Kamikamica says Draunibota Bay in Lami over the years has become a graveyard for derelict vessels.
The Minister says the people of Fiji understand well the record of the FijiFirst Party when it comes to the environment and it is not as perfect as Dr. Reddy makes it to be.
While responding to Kamikamica’s comments during a press conference at the FijiFirst Headquarters in Suva on Saturday, Sayed-Khaiyum says he feels sorry for Kamikamica and he seems to be a bit out of his depth because nobody reacted to any international media.
Malolo Island developers, Freesoul Real Estate Development Limited was fined $1 million in June last year for undertaking unauthorized developments in 2018.
The charges against Freesoul Ltd related to the failure to comply with a Prohibition Notice issued by the Department of Environment in June 2018 and carrying out of resort development activity in Malolo without an approved Environmental Impact Assessment Report.
Repeated questions in 2019 by the media had prompted the then Minister for Environment, Dr. Mahendra Reddy to confirm in February, 2019 that Freesoul Ltd had violated the terms of its development and the Ministry is pursuing prosecution.
A three part documentary by three New Zealand Newsroom journalists was released in April 2019, resulting in the issue getting a global media coverage.
The three journalists were arrested in the same month after Freesoul Ltd accused them of criminal trespass but the then Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama ordered their release a day later and apologised to them personally for their ordeal.
While speaking about Draunibota Bay, Sayed-Khaiyum says if Kamikamica does his research, then he will know that those ships relics go back even before FijiFirst came into Government and it has been there for decades.
The former Economy Minister says they have also had said they had done independent studies through the Fiji Ports Limited as to how much it would cost to remove those derelict ships.
We have sent questions to the Department of Environment on the plans they have to remove the derelict vessels.
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