26 Jul 2006

Fiji PM admits shipping to outer islands failed

7:22 am on 26 July 2006

Fiji's prime minister Laisenia Qarase, has admitted the government shipping franchise scheme to subsidise shipping to uneconomic remote outer islands has failed.

Fiji TV reports that unreliable and poor quality services on board have forced Mr Qarase to consider other options, including the purchase of three ships by the government.

It follows complaints raised with Mr Qarase at the Provincial Council meeting of Lau which is his home province.

Mr Qarase says outer island shipping services have not improved in the five years his government has been in power and it is now time to consider other options.

He says people are now in the 21st century and they deserve something better.