Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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Consultation on Surfing Areas Act begins today

Public consultations on the review of the Regulation of Surfing Areas Act 2010 (Act) begins today.

The Ministry of Tourism is working together with the Solicitor-General in the review.

Minister Responsible, Viliame Gavoka said earlier this month, both Offices started the review through a preliminary consultation, led by the Attorney-General with key Government and tourism industry stakeholders.

Gavoka said a number of additional public consultations will begin today till September 04, and they are also inviting written submissions from the public, industry, civil society organisations, academia and communities to ensure the process is transparent and consultative.

Earlier this year, Cabinet endorsed the review of the Regulation of Surfing Areas Act 2010.

“This Act is amongst one of the priority laws the Coalition Government made a commitment to review, in line with our aim of protecting the rights of indigenous Fijians, as well as ensuring equitable benefits.”

“It was passed in 2010 under the previous administration with the objective to liberate access and use of any surfing areas in Fiji, without any approval or compensation.”

The Deputy Prime Minister said that tourism contributes to 40 percent of Fiji’s GDP, bringing in billions in revenue each year. Gavoka said while our goal is to sustainably grow the industry, we want to ensure that our laws are conducive and consider the benefits to traditional custodians of our natural resources.

“We also want to look at this legislation holistically to consider safety and environmental sustainability aspects that could potentially open more destinations around Fiji.”

“We are very fortunate in Fiji in the sense that we are blessed with a pristine environment and natural resources. And our world-renowned surf is an example. So as the Government of the day, we want to safeguard our resources while driving equitable benefit.”

Gavoka added that the Government is confident that the commitments it made will be realised for the benefit of the people of Fiji.

Ilaitia Ravuwai
Ilaitia Ravuwai
Journalist | news@fijilive.com

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