12 Jul 2004

Solomons economists association advises against a federal system of government

7:01 pm on 12 July 2004

The Solomon Islands Economic Association says a proposed new constitutional structure for the country could be an expensive waste of money.

It's urging the government to steer away from a federal structure with state governments, which is intended to give more regional control over local resources.

But Economic Association chair Denton Rarawa - who is also deputy governor of the Central Bank - says there's been no estimate of what the change would cost, and it's not a high priority.

"We feel that priority should be towards building on the economic recovery that we have seen and addressing the priority areas in terms of service delivery, in terms of education and health, and looking after the people of this country."

Denton Rarawa says the present provincial government system could be fixed to address the need for more local control over resources.

He says Australia has advised Solomon Islands not to go ahead with the federal structure.