23 Jan 2012

Solomons acknowledges Fiji help with Pacific Arts Festival

12:54 pm on 23 January 2012

Solomon Islands organisers say four buses from Fiji to assist with transport during the Pacific Arts Festival is a welcome contribution, but it will still cost them money.

Fjii's minister for Education and Culture and Arts, Filipe Bole, is quoted as saying Fiji will waive government agencies fees on shipping the four buses from Lautoka in Fiji to Solomon Islands and back.

But the festival director, Robert Au, says the expected cost for freight will be close to US$355,000 out of a festival budget of only 18 million US dollars.

Mr Au says they will also need to accommodate the drivers.

"Bus drivers that will be coming, we'll be facilitating them with accommodation and meals during that period that they will be here for the festival. That is some of the small things we still need to tie up with Fiji government and also with the bus company so that we can have some agreement as to what's really required in order to get the buses into Honiara for the festival."

Robert Au says talks were held at the last MSG meeting about possible member countries assistance for this year's festival, and Fiji offered to assist with transportation.