11 Mar 2013

Work on Munda airport in Solomons set to resume

4:15 pm on 11 March 2013

Work on a New Zealand-funded upgrade of the Munda airport in Solomon Islands' Western Province is set to resume.

The Solomon Times reports that at a heated weekend meeting the prime minister Gordon Darcy Lilo convinced conflicting groups of landowners to resolve a dispute that has halted work on the project in past weeks.

The paper reports the dispute centres on a site that supplies gravel for the multi-million dollar project, and had resulted in the closure of the Vulea /Mamamisi quarry.

The New Zealand High Commissioner earlier warned of the withdrawal of government funding if agreements were not reached over the dispute.

Mr Lilo discussed with the Munda community the airport's regional and national importance.

Those present at the meeting agreed there will be no further disputes or disturbances until the project is completed.

The Solomon Islands government has agreed to provide financial assistance to the Munda community.