4 Aug 2005

Conflict between Polynesians and Melanesians over planned Solomon Islands development

8:57 pm on 4 August 2005

A Solomon Islands politician says a promising development planned for remote Vanikoro Island could be undermined if the Temotu provincial authority doesn't consult with all the community.

There is a split between the Polynesian and Melanesian communities on the island where an Australian company is planning to mill and process the timber resources.

They also want to develop tourism.

Ben Fono resigned this week as the provincial minister of home affairs in protest at the lack of consultation with the Polynesian community, which he says could spark interference in a worthwhile project.

"Those people will interrupt or intervene or try to disturb - all those things. But I want those Australians. It is not a problem with those Australians but the problem is between the Temotu Government and the way it has handled those people who have been neglected during those consultations."

The provincial premier Johnson Levella says more consultation will come through a new committee.