28 Aug 2007

Solomon Islands provincial premiers to push for greater control

3:43 pm on 28 August 2007

There is to be a concerted push from provincial premiers in Solomon Islands to gain more control over their natural resources and decision making from the national government.

The Choiseul premier, Jackson Kiloe, says they have been making submissions on the issue since the 1980s but want to see reform actually go ahead.

The national government is currently holding a constitutional congress to consider a draft constitution and whether a federal system and some devolution of power is possible.

Mr Kiloe says the decision making needs to come down to provinces.

"Basically, what we'll be pushing for will be some control over our natural resources, especially on fisheries, logging, mining, and some power to make decisions on who actually comes down to harvest those resources and what sort of financial benefits would derive from those."

Mr Kiloe says a meeting of provincial premiers is to be held next month on the issue.