4 Jul 2005

Fate of Solomons Fisheries Minister hanging in balance

2:16 pm on 4 July 2005

The fate of the Solomon Islands Minister of Fisheries, Paul Maenu'u, is hanging in the balance according to the Office of the Prime Minister.

The Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation reports that Prime Minister, Sir Allan Kemakeza, will not hesitate to axe the Minister if he is satisfied that Mr Maenu'u put the government into an embarassing situation.

Sir Allan says he has formally apologised to the Australian Government for the embarassment caused by his Minister when he voted in support of commercial whaling at the recent International Whaling Commission conference.

The Prime Minister says the action by the Minister and his officials was not in line with the government's official position which was to abstain from voting.

He says Solomon Islands was to support Australia's request for a limited expansion of scientific whaling.

Sir Allan says he is now awaiting a formal explanation of the action by the Minister and his officials, and depending on the outcome of the report, he will act accordingly.