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November 23, 2012 12:00:00 AM
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The four New Zealand companies that have been awarded with major contracts to rebuild Fiji roads are willing to hire local road workers that will be made redundant by Fiji Roads Authority.

Speaking to FijiLive, Blacktop Group’s managing director, Simon Everett said that the 1035 workers that have been made redundant will be hired on basis of skills, hardworking and genuine interest in the Fiji roads.

“We are currently looking at recruitment processes as work is bound to begin in January next year,” Everett said.

Blacktop received a four-year contract to improve roads across the Northern Division but it is on performance based so if need arises, the contract will be extended.

However, Everett said the 1035 workers can not be ensured that all of them will be employed but if they have what it takes to rebuild better roads in Fiji than they will certainly be part of Blacktop’s ‘A’ team.

Moreover, Everett added that the downfall regarding Fiji Roads was the road maintenance however he also said that the road infrastructure was good.

Everett plans to bring technical, management and quality expertise to rebuild Fijian roads.

Government has allocated FJD$422 million in the 2013 National Budget for roads and bridges, an increase of $182 million from the 2012 Budget.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama signed three different contracts with four New Zealand based companies.

Apart from Blacktop, Hiway Group has been awarded the road contract for Central and Eastern Division whereas Fulton Hogan and Higgins Contractors have been allocated the Western Division.

Bainimarama in his budget address said that these companies will not only maintain and rebuild roads; but will also restore capacity to build roads ourselves.   

By Indrani Krishna

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