Minister for External Trade and Communications, Manoa Kamikamica has put Opposition MP Dr Mahendra Reddy on notice for his statement and claims he provided incorrect information in a media conference.
On Thursday, the former Minister for Environment raised concerns over a factory in Ba and the removal of the stop work order on Laucala Island hangar.
Kamikamica said the FijiFirst Party has sensationalized the issue in the media.
He said that if they wanted to talk about the environment, they should look no further at how they have allowed Draunibota Bay in Lami to become over the years a graveyard for derelict vessels or Malolo Island Resort development debacle; that they only reacted to once the international press had reported on that issue.
“The stop work order for the Laucala Island Resort hangar was issued by Fiji Airports Limited and not the Department of Environment.”
“There was no proper explanation provided to Laucala Island, and it reached Government interference – a well-known trait of the previous Government.”
“For the factory in Ba, the company received a stop-work order last week and was going to put 200 workers out of work.”
“My Ministry held an urgent meeting with the Department of Environment due to the serious implications of the matter, in which they were able to find a way to keep the factory operational,” he added.
Kamikamica said Dr Reddy was wrong in claiming that he had a threatening tone in a meeting with the Permanent Secretary and the Director of Environment.
“The overall tone was one of facilitation, respect and cordiality.”
Kamikamica said through the decisive leadership of Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka, Deputy Prime Minister Viliame Gavoka and himself, the coalition Government was able to remove the stop-work order.
“This resulted in a major investor continuing their $30 million project, and for 200 workers to continue receiving their pay cheques.”
Kamikamica said local and international investors need to be respected, if they follow due process and law – they should be encouraged and not victimized.
He added this will be the new normal in Fiji, which will build investor confidence.