- NEW PROJECTS END YEARS OF STRUGGLE FOR NORTH COMMUNITY – The completed construction of a water reservoir Natoa settlement in Cakaudrove will bring to end years of struggle for the families living there.
- DECEASED PWD WORKERS FAMILY RECEIVE COMPENSATION – THREE families who lost their loved ones in a mishap at sea in 2012 were provided compensation through the assistance of the Workers Compensation Unit at theLabour Ministry.
- VILLAGERS IN NAMOSI LAUD GOVERNMENT’S ASSISTANCE – Access to quality education in Fiji’s rural communities saw a boost this week in particular in the province of Namosi.
- CENTRAL DIVISION AGRICULTURE SHOW ENDS ON A HIGH NOTE – The 2014Central Agriculture Show officially closed on a high note at Syria Park in Nausori this week.
- FOREIGN MINISTER RETURNS TO FIJI FOLLOWING NEGOTIATIONS PROCESS – Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, is returning to Fiji after a successful visit to the Middle East as the Government’s Ministerial envoy in efforts to seek the release of Fijian peacekeepers held by the Al Nusra Front in the Golan Heights in Syria.
- DONATION TO STRENGTHEN MINISTRY SERVICE DELIVERY – The donation of new equipment to Fiji’s Education Ministry should strengthen their service delivery in providing quality education to students across the country.
- LABOUR REMINDS EMPLOYERS OF SEPT 17 PUBLIC HOLIDAY– The Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment has reminded all employers nationwide that September 17, 2014is a paid public holiday.
- $35M PROJECT BEGINS IN LAUTOKA – Access to an efficient judicial system will be smoother for residents of Lautoka and the Western Division following the ground breaking ceremony of a new complex.
1 NEW PROJECTS END YEARS OF STRUGGLE FOR NORTH COMMUNITY
The completed construction of a water reservoir Natoa settlement in Cakaudrove will bring to end years of struggle for the families living there.
For years, this multiracial community in this northern province has had to source water from other parts for their families. However a commitment by Government through its Northern Office will see these struggles come to an end.
For 68 year Gyan Deo who was born and bred in that settlement, the new water reservoir is a basic development he never thought would be possible for him and his family.
“We use to use water from a well, it dried up and then we were using the creek water.”
He said the creek water used for washing, bathing and cooking however they would have to wait for the rain for them to store drinking water.
“We are thankful to the government for looking into our request and our basic needs”, Deo said.
Government’s Provincial Administrator for the province of Cakaudrove Inoke Roko said the project has been fully government funded at the cost $15,000.
“The need for this families to have proper safe drinking water was essential, we looked into this and now each household receives water straight at their own homes.”
Other major government projects carried out at the community includes the provision of housing assistance through its Rural Housing scheme.
2 DECEASED PWD WORKERS FAMILY RECEIVE COMPENSATION
THREE families who lost their loved ones in a mishap at sea in 2012 were provided compensation through the assistance of the Workers Compensation Unit at the Labour Ministry.
The family members of former Public Works Department workers were granted $24,000 in the form of compensation for theloss of lives of their sons and brothers while at work on December 1, 2012.
The Minister for Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Mr Jone Usamate, while handing over the cheque to Jone Dualase’s family, said no amount of money can replace the loss of life of loved ones.
“However, Government will do what it can to assist the people and under the law we are able to provide this compensation,” he said.
The deceased’s mother Leba Josese could not hold back her tears as the Minister handed over the cheque to her.
Dualase’s sister, Salanieta Raikabula said her brother was only 20 years old when he passed away and had a real passion for rugby.
“This past two years the truth that my brother will never come back had not sunk in since the body was never recovered,” she said.
“Jone was mum’s favourite so it has really affected her but when she received the call to pick up the compensation cheque, she finally came to terms that he will not come back.”
Jone, together with Alipate Tarainaqara and Josaia Tiko, were part of a group of seven who boarded a boat in Levuka, Ovalau and were headed back to Batiki island when their boat capsized.
All three perished as a result of the fatal incident.
The families of Mr Tarainaqara and Mr Tiko will receive the same amount that will be divided between the parents and unmarried siblings.
3 VILLAGERS IN NAMOSI LAUD GOVERNMENT’S ASSISTANCE
Access to quality education in Fiji’s rural communities saw a boost this week in particular in the province of Namosi.
Villagers in Nasigatoka commended government’s contribution of more than $160,000 towards development projects that were opened yesterday by the Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama. Also included in this list of projects include 3 ablution blocks, two classrooms, extension of the girls’ dormitory and a teachers quarters for the Namosi Secondary School.
Commending the government initiative, Nasigatoka villager, Maretina Venina said that she was grateful to the government of the day for its commitment to improving rural education for all Fijians.
“I would like to thank the government for this great assistance as it shows the investment that they continue to make in rural education,” Ms Venina said.
Similar sentiments were shared by Danele Vakatawabai of Namosi village.
“It is happy occasion and a dream come true for the people living in the tikina of Namosi as we never expected these many projects that will mostly benefit our school children,” Mr Vakatawabai said.
Namosi Secondary School principal, Filomena Bulivakarua said that she was grateful for the assistance from government as the students from Namosi would greatly benefit from these projects today and in the years to come.
“I would like to thank the government for the provision of building materials and the aid given for the construction of ablution blocks and the extension of the girls dormitory,” Mrs Bulivakarua said.
“The school received much consolation from the Prime Minister’s Office in terms of aid and we are grateful for this.”
Namosi Secondary School form 6 student, Laitia Davetawalu said that the opening of the 2 new classrooms would be a major boost to the students in his school.
“I will be able to use these new classroom when I reach form 7 next year and I am looking forward to that already,” Davetawalu said.
Namosi Secondary School has a school roll of more than 200 students.
4 CENTRAL DIVISION AGRICULTURE SHOW ENDS ON A HIGH NOTE
The 2014 Central Agriculture Show officially closed on a high note at Syria Park in Nausori this week.
Designed to showcase reforms carried out in Fiji’s agriculture sector, the show is also aimed at raising awareness on the contribution made by farmers towards Fiji’s economic development.
The Minister of Agriculture, Inia Seruiratu commended sponsors, stakeholders, farmers, various government ministries and staff of the Ministry of Agriculture for the success of the show which saw the participation of more than 5000 people.
“The Agriculture Show has been held at national level, however for this year it is being held at Divisional level as a means of encouraging more participation from farmers, stakeholders and members of the public.
“The Show has been attracting public interest commencing with the show in Labasa for the Northern Division, in Ba for the Western Division, in the Ra Province last week and here in Nausori for the Central Division,” he said.
Farmers from Namosi, Serua, Namosi, Tailevu, Rewa and Naitasiri converged at the ground to be able to witness the latest development, techniques and information not only on agriculture but also from various government ministries and companies showcasing their services and products.
The Agriculture Show has been successful over the past four years in bringing together stakeholders and members of the public. It has also contributed significantly to the development of the industry.
Mr Seruiratu said that a recent report released by the Fiji Bureau of Statistics this week showed a positive performance by the agriculture sector in 2013 with a grow of 3.4% driven by increases in sugarcane, yaqona, dalo and coconut production.
5 FOREIGN MINISTER RETURNS TO FIJI FOLLOWING NEGOTIATIONS PROCESS
Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, is returning to Fiji after a successful visit to the Middle East as the Government’s Ministerial envoy in efforts to seek the release of Fijian peacekeepers held by the Al Nusra Front in the Golan Heights in Syria.
Amongst other meetings scheduled for the Middle East visit, Minister Kubuabola met with his counterpart from Qatar with the specific goal of discussing the issue of the safe return of the 45 Fijian peacekeepers to their United Nations post in the Golan Heights.
Although the domestic scene has been dominated by political campaigning toward Fiji’s national elections on 17 September, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama sent Minister Kubuabola to the Middle East earlier this week to support efforts to secure the release of its peacekeepers in the Golan Heights.
The Minister’s visit to Qatar represents the Government’s political commitment to its global peacekeeping policy but more importantly, the Government’s diplomatic efforts for the release of the Fijian soldiers. Fiji’s diplomats in its various Missions around the world have engaged in concerted efforts that complemented the approaches made operationally on the ground and by the United Nations.
In his discussion with the Qatari Foreign Minister, Dr Khalid Bin Mohammed Al Attiyah, Minister Kubuabola conveyed the appreciation of the Fijian Government for the influential role that the Qatari Government has demonstrated in pressing for the release of the Fijian soldiers. The Qatari Foreign Minister assured they were sparing no effort to get the Fijian soldiers released safely.
Minister Al Attiyah also clarified that Qatar’s involvement in these efforts demonstrated that it was focused on humanitarian concerns and to distance themselves from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
Minister Kubuabola thanked the Qatari Foreign Minister for the efforts they have put in to securing the release of the Fijian peacekeepers. Among other issues of bilateral concern, he also expressed appreciation for the Qatari’s financial assistance to Fiji during its flood appeal in 2012 and the Pacific Island Development Forum over the past two years.
The Minister was assisted in his mission to Qatar by the Fijian envoy accredited to Qatar, Ambassador Robin Nair and the Deputy Secretary in the Ministry, Luke Daunivalu.
6 DONATION TO STRENGTHEN MINISTRY SERVICE DELIVERY
The donation of new equipment to Fiji’s Education Ministry should strengthen their service delivery in providing quality education to students across the country.
The Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Fiji His Excellency Mr Huang Yong presented the equipment on behalf of China’s Ministry of Culture. A ceremony marking this occasion was held at the Ministry’s Education Conference room at Senikau House. Senior officials from the Chinese Embassy and the Ministry were present to officiate at this event.
The Ministry’s permanent secretary Mrs Basundra Kumar expressed her appreciation and gratitude and highlighted China’s contribution towards reforms carried out the Ministry not just in the education sector but also in the national heritage, culture and arts sector,
“This is yet again another illustration of the genuine friendly ties that exist between one of the world’s most ancient civilization rich with history and culture and that of a young nation like Fiji with its distinctive multicultural feature,” said Mrs Kumar.
“The cultural sector activities in Fiji will be enhanced, in that designated responsibilities of the cultural institutions will be boosted and recipients of the services offered will be attractive with the latest tools taking culture to a new level and on par with modern trends in technological advancement,” commented Mrs Kumar.
7 LABOUR REMINDS EMPLOYERS OF SEPT 17 PUBLIC HOLIDAY
The Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment has reminded all employers nationwide that September 17, 2014 is a paid public holiday.
This in accordance to the decision taken by Cabinet in April, 2014 since September 17 is earmarked as polling day for the 2014 General Elections.
However, the advisory by the Ministry of Transport earlier this month that all public service vehicles (PSVs) will be operational for the convenience of voters still stands.
(Editors, please find attached the public notice by the Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment on this issue)
8 $35M PROJECT BEGINS IN LAUTOKA
Access to an efficient judicial system will be smoother for residents of Lautoka and the Western Division following the ground breaking ceremony of a new complex.
Hon Chief Justice Anthony Gates made the comments while officiating at the ground breaking ceremony for the new six storey complex that would be built beside the existing court house.
“The users of the existing High Court Building at Lautoka have known for many years of its inadequacy for the amount of business to be undertaken at that premises. It is a massive project for Fiji and is likely to cost around $35million. So far it is destined to be an infrastructure improvement to be borne by Government alone,” Hon Gates said.
“If the Western Division is to develop economically, financially and in its institutions and services, the justice system within the division must be able to respond to society’s needs.
“There must be Judges and Magistrates, court staff, court facilities and modern equipment for dealing with litigants’ disputes.”
The new complex once completed will have a provision of 18 court rooms and other facilities such as adequate provisions for filing, records, and archives, separated cells for men, women and juveniles, cafeteria with kitchens, a gymnasium, a media room, a sick bay, a crèche, under-cover parking, a Legal Practitioners Common Room, interview Rooms, standby generator, water storage tanks, solar water heating, audio and video recording in all courtrooms, lifts to all floors, a Juvenile Court, a Tax Court, Family Courts, Employment Relations Court and various registries, chambers, and secretaries rooms
Lautoka City Council chief executive officer Jone Nakauvadra said the council was fully supportive of the idea and the renovation works was long overdue but he thanked Government of its vision to strengthen service delivery mechanisms such as the judicial services around the country.
“The High Court in Lautoka deals with cases from the whole division and it is only fitting that more resources and refurbishment is done to be able to cater for the whole division,” he said.
“There have been a lot of major developments in the Western Division in the last few years and in Lautoka itself and the new look courts in Lautoka will add to the other projects that are underway in the Sugar City.”
He added the development work at the High Court would add to the growth of Lautoka and at the same time supplement the infrastructure to ensure judicial cases are efficient.
Acting Commissioner Western Luke Moroivalu echoed similar sentiments saying such projects augured well with government’s vision of ensuring better facilities and services to the people.
“This project is very critical to the services provided by the judicial department, especially with the recent economic growth level recorded in the west and projects such as these prove government’s service towards its people,” Mr Moroivalu said.