12 Feb 2019

More legal action likely against Fiji resort developer

3:17 pm on 12 February 2019

The Fiji government says it had not given any approval to a Malolo island resort developer for development of the foreshore.

Solevu Village on Malolo

Solevu Village on Malolo Photo: Supplied

The developer Freesoul has claimed its project is legitimate and it has been following due process.

The lands minister Ashneel Sudhakar told FBC News no foreshore development lease, licence or approval has been issued to Freesoul.

Mr Sudhakar said an impact assessment report by the Environment Ministry in December last year was only conducted for land-based activities and not the foreshore.

He said his team inspected the site at the weekend and they found considerable damage to the foreshore, mangroves and seabed.

Freesoul showed total disregard for Fiji's laws, the communities and the landowners on Malolo, Mr Sudhakar said.

Nearby villagers have expressed outrage at environmental damage caused by the development and a lawyer for local landowners says the company has been ignoring official orders to stop work.

The Environment Minister Mahendra Reddy told FBC News officials and police are on Malolo to ensure no further activity is being carried out by the developer.

The office of the Director of Public Prosecutions has sanctioned charges against Freesoul for failing to comply with a prohibition notice issued by the Environment Ministry last year.

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