18 Jan 2012

Fiji landowners welcome Bainimarama's involvement

2:10 pm on 18 January 2012

Landowners from the Namosi district in Fiji are welcoming news that the interim prime minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama will be overseeing negotiations relating to a proposed mining project in the area.

A final decision on whether the potentially huge copper mine near Suva will go ahead is at least six months away.

The Namosi Joint Venture is a partnership between the Australian mining company Newcrest and two Japanese companies.

The secretary of the Namosi landowners committee, Sipiriano Nariva, says they are concerned about the environmental impacts of the planned mine, and are glad that Commodore Bainimarama is stepping in.

"This government is a very good government, the government hears the voice of the people. In the past governments, our voices and our rights cannot be heard, but Bainimarama is a different man, he is a man of the people. I'm ready to face Bainimarama. I'll tell Bainimara, 'tell this company to go away'."

Sipiriano Nariva.

Commodore Bainimarama says he wants to ensure all relevant parties' voices are heard, especially those of the landowners.