Politics

NFP decries changes to Parliament dates

THE National Federation Party believes that amending the 2019 Parliament calendar has done grave injustice to the taxpayers of Fiji. Parliament, on Friday, passed a motion to reduce Parliament sitting by two weeks. Parliament will...

Opposition votes split

THERE was a split in votes in the Opposition on a motion to amend the 2019 Parliament calendar. Parliament voted on a motion on Friday to reduce the Parliament sitting weeks to seven sitting weeks to give time to the Parliamentary Standing Committees to scrutinise reports. The motion was passed by 44 votes — 26...

Government invested $163m in rural electrification in past five years

IN the past five years from 2014 to the 2017/2018 budget, the Fijian Government has invested around $163million in rural electrification. Minister for Infrastructure Jone Usamate noted this as he responded to a question on when local farmers who do not have access to electricity will be connected to the EFL power grid. He said...

Thurston Garden: Lands Minister explains processes involved in allocation

MINISTER for Lands and Mineral Resources Ashneel Sudhakar last Friday explained to Parliament the process involved in having a piece of land at Thurston Garden to house the proposed Indian High Commission chancery. Responding to a question on how the allocation was done and whether any consultation was carried out, Mr Sudhakar said the Suva...

Dire need to strengthen EIA unit: Qereqeretabua

OPPOSITION MP Lenora Qereqeretabua says there is a dire need to strengthen the powers of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Unit of the Department of Environment, in light of the recent incidences of grave environmental degradation in Fiji, some of which have only come to light recently. In her end of the week statement in...

FRA engages technical team to conduct soil surveys: Usamate

TO support the work on early detection of landslides, the Fiji Roads Authority (FRA) has engaged technical teams to conduct soil surveys. Minister for Infrastructure Jone Usamate made this known in Parliament last week while responding to a question from Opposition MP Aseri Radrodro on Government’s plans to ensure public safety from the threats of...

Split in votes in Opposition

THERE was a split in votes in the Opposition on a motion to amend the 2019 Parliament calendar. Parliament voted on a motion on Friday to reduce the Parliament sitting weeks to seven sitting weeks to give time to the Parliamentary Standing Committees to scrutinise reports. The motion was passed by 44 votes – 26...

16th February

Grid extension project for Lomaivuna estimated to cost $1.6m

THE grid extension project for Navutu, Lomaivuna, and nearby settlements in Naitasiri is estimated to cost about $1.6million. Revealing this in Parliament, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Jone Usamate said the project should be completed by June this year. There are about 108 houses that will benefit from the project. “Once again, the grid extensions,...

Fiji women MPs to visit NZ on week-long study tour

EIGHT women Members of Parliament will be in New Zealand next week on a study tour as part of efforts to boost their knowledge on parliamentary procedures. The tour will feature workshops on effective use of traditional and social media, capacity-building, advocacy and effective party responsibilities, among others. New Zealand deputy High Commissioner to Fiji Halia Haddad...

Parliament tweaks sitting calendar

SIXTY-ONE reports are yet to be scrutinised by respective standing committees of Parliament, says Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed- Khaiyum. He revealed this while trying to explain in Parliament yesterday the urgent need to amend the 2019 Parliament calendar sittings between April and September. Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said with reduction of Parliament sittings from nine to seven, it...

Government is currently facing a strategic paralysis: Bulitavu

THE FijiFirst Government is currently facing a strategic paralysis, says SODEPLA Opposition MP Mosese Bulitavu. His comments came following a heated debated in Parliament yesterday over a motion to amend the Parliament sitting calendar sittings between April to November this year. Mr Bulitavu said Government should be more responsible in their decisions before making any...

15th February

Motion to amend Parliament sitting calender passed

The 2019-2020 national budget address will be delivered on June 7. A motion to amend the Parliament sitting calender was passed in Parliament this afternoon. Leader of Government in Parliament Inia Seruiratu said the budget debate would be held from June 17 -June 21. However the initial calendar was that the national budget to be...

Minister for Sports Parveen Bala shouldn’t be trusted: Bulitavu

MINISTER for Sports Parveen Bala shouldn’t be trusted. This were the words of SODELPA Opposition MP Mosese Bulitavu during a heated debate over the national development plan in Parliament this morning. He said Bala had failed to address issues in his former portfolio. “He has a habit of saying that everything is in the pipeline....

Grid extension might be a difficult task on Beqa: Usamate

IMPLEMENTING grid extension under the rural electrification programme on the island of Beqa would be a difficult task says Minister Infrastructure Jone Usamate. He highlighted this issue after SODELPA Opposition MP Ro Teimumu Kepa asked if farmers on the island were also assisted through the programme. Mr Usamate said the island have access to solar...

Speaker: Parliament must uphold, respect powers

SPEAKER of Parliament Ratu Epeli Nailatikau yesterday reiterated that the Parliament must always uphold and respect the constitutional separation of powers between the three arms of the State. Ratu Epeli made the comment in his ruling on the two petitions filed by two Opposition members of Parliament on Monday. He ruled that the petitions filed...

Medical check for villagers

TEAMS from the Ministry of Health and Medical Services are at Draubuta Village in Navosa to conduct vector spraying and medical check-up for the villagers after excessive mud flooded the village early this month. Infrastructure and Transport Minister Jone Usamate confirmed this to Parliament yesterday, adding that another team would also be at the village...

Work on investment policy in progress

THE Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism and the World Bank Group (WBG)/International Finance Corporation (IFC) are now reviewing the investment legal framework and developing a comprehensive investment policy. While responding to a supplementary question from the Opposition in Parliament yesterday, Trade Minister Premila Kumar said the revised legislation would be expanded to include domestic...

Yield to determine new Rakiraki mill

A NEW sugar mill in Rakiraki will be considered if cane production increases. This was the revelation by Prime Minister and Sugar Minister Voreqe Bainimarama during Parliament Monday. Mr Bainimarama was responding to a question from Opposition parliamentarian Mosese Bulitavu about what measures Government had to increase cane production when he made comment on the...

Plans in place to address the threat of landslides and slips: Usamate

THERE is a need to ensure that land and property owners implement good land use practices in order to better protect our roads and other public infrastructure. Highlighting this, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Jone Usamate said plans were in place to address the threat of landslides and slips. He said a few spots vulnerable...

14th February

Petitions filed by Opposition ruled as out of order

SPEAKER of Parliament Ratu Epeli Nailatikau today ruled that the two petitions that were filed in parliament on Monday were out of order. The two petitions were filed by Opposition members- Ro Filipe Tuisawau and Jese Saukuru. Ro Filipe had filed an a petition seeking for compensation by certain parties in relation to the land...

Ex-FSC CEO investigation is ongoing

INVESTIGATION into the former chief executive officer of the Fiji Sugar Corporation, Abdul Khan is ongoing. This was confirmed to Parliament by Prime Minister and Sugar Minister Voreqe Bainimarama while responding to an oral question by Opposition MP Professor Biman Prasad yesterday. FSC ordered an investigation into Mr Khan in 2016 for alleged abuse of...

QVS rehabilitation to cost $3m

THE estimated cost of rehabilitation work at the two rundown dormitories at Queen Victoria School in Tailevu is estimated to be more than $3 million. This was revealed by Education Minister Rosy Akbar after the completion of the scope of the work. The two dormitories were rebuilt by the Indonesian Government after it was severely...

Nawaikula: A very sad day

“TODAY is a very sad day for native indigenous people of this country.” Opposition Member of Parliament Niko Nawaikula made this comment while addressing Parliament on Tuesday on why the Opposition did not support a Bill fast-tracked by Government to amend the iTaukei Land Trust Act. The amendment to the iTaukei Land Trust Act will...

Doctor to patient ratio above WHO minimum standard

THE doctor to patient ratio is greater than one doctor to 800 people in the country Revealing this in Parliament yesterday, Minister for Health and Medical Services Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete said the World Health Organization’s minimum standard of one doctor to population was 1:1000 and he was pleased to announce that Fiji had crossed that...

‘Doctors’ efforts not appreciated’

HEALTH Minister Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete yesterday told Parliament he was appalled that some members of Parliament were only focused on challenges faced by the public and not those faced by the doctors. While responding to a question from the Opposition in Parliament yesterday, Dr Waqainabete said a lot of times the efforts of the doctors...

PM criticises ‘unpatriotic’ behaviour

PRIME Minister Voreqe Bainimarama took a swipe at the Opposition on Tuesday, claiming that some of their actions and behaviour were “unpatriotic”. In concluding his ministerial statement on his COP23 journey, Mr Bainimarama said members of Parliament should not stop being an MP when they left the Parliament chamber. “Your behaviour on social media or...

$97m received last year from movies shot in Fiji

A TOTAL of $97million was directly pumped into the Fijian economy last year from film makers who shot movies in Fiji. This was told to Parliament by Attorney General and Economy Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, who said many of these companies were even coming to Fiji to just shoot advertisements. He said an overseas company was...

17 Fijians currently work under the RSE scheme

SEVENTEEN Fijians are currently working under the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) Worker scheme in Australia and New Zealand. Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations Parveen Kumar revealed this in Parliament, saying that out of the 17, two were in NZ, while 15 were working on farms in Australia. He said interviews were also underway...

13th February

No ban for villagers under RSE scheme

THERE is currently no ban in place for some villages who previously went to New Zealand and Australia under the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) Workers Scheme. Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations Parveen Kumar clarified this while responding to a supplementary question by National Federation Party leader and Opposition MP Professor Biman Prasad in...

Tourism Fiji staff terminated due to incorrect advertisement

A TOURISM Fiji staff has been terminated following an incorrect advertisement posted on Tourism Fiji’s website last year. This was revealed by Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum while responding to a supplementary question by Opposition Whip Lynda Tabuya in Parliament earlier today. The staff had incorrectly translated the word ‘toilet’ in iTaukei as ‘vale-ni-lotu’ which meant a...

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