It is unfortunate that will for some reason, the FijiFirst Celebration chooses to sensationalise problems in the media before looking properly at the facts. Just imagine if the Laucala investor had decided to pull out of Fiji, as well as the reputational damage it would possess caused to our country. This will be the new normal in Fiji, and this will build investor self-confidence in the country. Given the serious implications, I as Minister responsible for Trade, started an urgent meeting with the particular Department of Environment to discuss the case. I wish to place on the record my appreciation to the Director, and the Permanent Admin for Environment, for tallying to the meeting. It had been issued by Fiji International airports Limited in September 2022. At the end of the conference, a way was found to help keep the factory open, and for the testing of air quality to become conducted at the Steel work in Ba. The assessments are continuing as I speak. To conclude, I want to place the Honourable Reddy on notice about some parts of their statement, which were of great issue. For the record, and for Hon. Mahendra Reddy’s record, both these urgent issues were driven from our office, and not from the Honourable office of the Prime Minister, as mischievously stated by Honourable Reddy. Vinaka vakalevu & Thank you. The people of Fiji realize well the record associated with the FijiFirst Party when it comes to environmental surroundings. We need to treat ALL investors – both local and international – with respect. In terms of the facts, the Honourable Reddy was totally wrong. The end work order against Laucala Island Resort’s hangar under construction, was never issued by the Department of the Environment. If they wish to discuss the environment, look no further at how they have allowed Draunibota Bay in Lami to become – over the years – a graveyard for derelict vessels, or the Malolo Island resort development debacle, which they only responded to once the international push had reported on that will issue. It is not as perfect as Honourable Reddy makes it to be. It offers to be noted that ultimately, the Coalition Government’s activities has resulted in a major investor being allowed to continue their own m project and that is significant. It builds confidence with the investors both local plus international and I think it augurs well for our country. It was the new Coalition Government – through the decisive management of Honourable Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka, working together with Deputy Prime Minister Honourable Gavoka and I that got the stop order removed. Contrary to what Honourable Reddy alleged, I did not really threaten anyone at that will meeting, and the overall strengthen was one of facilitation, respect and cordiality. With regard to the factory within Ba, — another issue the Honourable Reddy elevated – this company received a stop order notice last week, and it also was going to put 200 workers in Ba out of work. For Honourable Reddy’s info, Laucala Island has invested more than 0m Fijian in our country, and it remits m, in foreign exchange monthly, in order to Fiji. As for the manufacturer in Ba, the 200 people in Ba are becoming their pay cheque, and are also working together with the Department associated with Environment to ensure that the requirements of the Department of Environment are usually honoured and respected. If they follow because of process and the law, they must be encouraged, NOT victimized. It is as simple as that. There is no proper explanation given to Laucala Island, and it reeked of government interference, a well-known trait of the earlier government.


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