20 Sep 2005

Calls for Fiji fisheries minister to go over failed jetty project

8:30 am on 20 September 2005

There are calls in Fiji for the fisheries minister, Konisi Yabaki, to resign or be sacked over the failed US$6 million Japanese-funded Lami jetty project.

The project was cancelled by the cabinet last week months after the Japanese ambassador in Fiji had laid its foundation stone for construction to begin.

Lami residents and landowners had mounted a fierce campaign against the jetty on environmental grounds and threatened to file a High Court injunction to stop its construction.

The former opposition leader, Mick Beddoes, says Minister Yabaki has lied to all concerned over the jetty and he should formally apologise and then resign or be sacked.

Mr Beddoes says the minister had deliberately misled parliament when he claimed that all necessary approvals had been obtained and an environment impact assessment report was favourable when he knew it was not.

Mr Beddoes says this was inexcusable.

The managing director of Fiji Fish Limited, Graham Southwick, says "the whole project was launched on a raft of deceit and lies," and "everybody involved should be sacked."