8 Jun 2005

Solomons' Temotu province readied for Vanikoro milling operation

8:01 pm on 8 June 2005

People in Temotu province in Solomon Islands have been told that an Australian-led consortium is about to launch a massive development of Vanikoro island where the French 18th century explorer, Laperouse, vanished.

The provincial deputy premier, Noel Keniano, gave details about the forestry and hotel project in a speech marking Temotu's 22nd anniversary as a province.

From Lata, George West reports.

"In his speech, the Temotu deputy premier says the Australina consortium will form a joint venture company with the Vanikoro landowners and the Temotu provincial government. The planned shareholding arrangement are 40 percent to Vanikoro Limited, 55 percent to the Australian consortium and five percent to the Temotu provincial government. Noel Keniani says milling operations are expected to start on Vanikoro in 2007 and continue for 26 years. This will be undertaken by one of the consortium partners, a large timber milling company in Australia."

George West reporting from Lata