Saturday, April 20, 2024
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No need for public consultations: Chaudhry

Fiji Labour Party Leader Mahendra Chaudhry has questioned the need for time and money being wasted on public consultations on local council elections and nightclub opening hours.

Chaudhry in a statement said there is no need for consultations when views of the people on these issues are well known.

“The so-called public consultation on municipal council elections held at the Suva Civic Centre on April 24 shows this tend to be badly organized, with no real agenda and low attendance.”

“Two issues brought up at the meeting- rates arrears and the retirement age of council officials – do not require public consultation.”

“There is already a norm in place with 6 per cent interest charged on arrears – this should be maintained.”

“The retirement age should be the same as that for the civil service.”

“People want to know when council elections will be held. For 8 years the Fiji First Government kept putting off the elections on the excuse that the Local Government Act was under review.”

“The coalition Government is now doing the same, even though it campaigned vigorously on the issue.:

He said a comprehensive review of the Act was undertaken in 2008 by a New Zealand consultant and for some reason this report is being ignored and all kinds of excuses made to defer holding of council elections.

“Likewise, on the issue of nightclub opening hours there has been a public outcry against the extended hours of 5pm to 5am introduced by the Fiji First Government which also liberalized the liquor laws.”

“It has caused serious social problems and has led to an escalation of the crime rate. Lots of young lives have been ruined because of this.”

“People’s views on this are well known. There is a need for urgency.”

“The Government should just get on with the job and reduce the hours to a reasonable time.”

Chaudhry added that nightclubs under all Governments used to close at a reasonable hour around midnight and we must bring back the old laws and step up surveillance.

Reginald Chandar
Reginald Chandar
Head of News & Sports | news@fijilive.com

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