26 Jan 2013

Fiji's Bainimarama says Father Barr is now free to stay

10:50 am on 26 January 2013

Fiji's interim prime minister says he has reversed the Minister of Immigration's decision to cancel the work permit for Father Kevin Barr.

The Fiji interim government had declared the Australian priest a prohibited immigrant and told him to leave Fiji over the weekend.

According to Fiji media, Father Barr was alleged to have breached his work permit conditions.

He had been working in Fiji for more than 30 years and acquired a high-profile role in the Wage Council before he quit it last year.

In a statement, Commodore Frank Bainimarama says he reviewed the decision after representations were made to him.

He says Father Barr is now free to remain in the country until his work permit has expired which at that time will still be subject to assessment for renewal following the necessary protocols.