Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka has justified the Government’s use of Standing Order 51 to fast-track the repeal of the Media Industry Development (Repeal) Bill of 2023 and the i-Taukei Land Trust (Amendment) Bill of 2023.
Speaking to FijiLive, Rabuka said that the two motions do not need to go to any of the Standing Committee and the two Bills are proposed to directly revert back to what it was before.
Rabuka said this is how the FijiFirst Government brought the MIDA Act of 2010 and the iTaukei Land Trust (Budget Amendment) Act – through Standing Order 51.
The Prime Minister was responding to criticism from Opposition MPs on Government’s intentions to fast track debate and to pass the two proposed Bills without further consultations from the public and relevant stakeholders.
Rabuka said if the avenue is available under the Standing Orders, “Use it, if the door is still open.”
“Any amendment or repeal of the original Act, that we are reverting to now, is still subject to consultations,” Rabuka said.
However, the Leader of Opposition Inia Seruiratu has called on the Attorney-General to conduct further consultations on the two proposed Bills.
Seruiratu said Government was avoiding consultations due to the fact of the low turnout from the public, from the meetings being conducted by the Fiscal Review Committee.
The Leader of Opposition also told the Parliament that an initial draft of the Bill to amend the MIDA Act 2010, however, due to pressure from media organisations, Seruiratu said Government is now proposing to repeal the Act.