Local economy to benefit

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Local economy to benefit

THE $15.4million rehabilitation of nine schools damaged by tropical cyclones Ana and Yasa funded by the Australian Government is expected to benefit the local economy as local suppliers, contractors and people will be engaged during construction.

Australian High Commission chargé d’affaires John Williams said they had included quotations for the hiring of locals in the construction tender process and there was a specific quota for women.

“As part of the rural ambition for infrastructure financing standards we have here in Fiji and the region, local benefit should be a real quality of the program,” he said.

“As I said, we are focused on local content so local contractors engaged, local suppliers, local materials and very importantly local employment.”

Mr Williams also said as part of the tender process, the Australian Government included specific quotas for female employees.

“So longer-term benefits for these local communities part of the project, is not just the income or jobs from the construction but the upskilling to be able to do this work.

“Each of the schools will have canteens built as part of the rehabilitation project, the idea being — there will be an opportunity for local entrepreneurs especially women entrepreneurs to support and supply to these canteens.”

He said there were a lot of facets to the rehabilitation project but there was a strong focus on local economic impact.

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