30 Apr 2007

Australia/Fiji Business Council wants post coup sanctions eased

3:30 pm on 30 April 2007

The Australia-Fiji Business Council is calling on the Australian government to remove its sanctions which are hindering trade between the two countries.

Radio Legend quotes the council president, Caz Tebbutt-Dennis, as saying the Australian government must reconsider the travel bans on people who were not directly involved in the December military takeover.

She says the travel bans have extended to people who had nothing to do with the coup and this is not helping in the recovery of the Fiji economy.

Mrs Tebbutt-Dennis says the concern of the business council focuses on the right of the private sector to participate in Fiji's recovery and many of its members need to travel to Australia to conduct their business.

She says the business council would like to see Fiji's best people step up and play a role in the recovery if they are going to be creating jobs.

Mrs Tebbutt-Dennis is asking what the Australian prime minister, John Howard, and his foreign minister, Alexander Downer, hope to achieve by placing sanctions on those people who want to help Fiji recover.

She says at a time of need Australia should not be asking people to choose between helping their own country and keeping their business going.