27 Jun 2005

Solomon Islands Temotu province clears way for logging projects

4:17 pm on 27 June 2005

The deputy Premier of Temotu province in Solomon Islands says the provincial administration has approved a logging project to go ahead despite concerns from a local MP.

Noel Keniano says the administration has cleared the way for a joint logging venture on Vanikoro island by a local company, Madalu Forest Products, and an overseas corporation, Mega.

Mr Keniano has dismissed concerns by an MP from Temotu, Patterson Oti, who recently said that a proposed tourist development on Vanikoro could open the way for logging.

Despite Mr Oti's suspicion of the project's objectives, Mr Keniano says the provincial government lifted a ban on logging in Temotu two years ago.

"What I know about Mr Oti is he is anti the current government. He's not working with this provincial government and that's why he's making all kinds of comments about this. Patterson Oti has been an MP for this constituency for eight years and we haven't seen anything developed. He's interested in controlling but not developing."

The deputy Premier of Temotu province, Noel Keniano.