28 Jan 2013

Australian priest relieved over Fiji reversing expulsion order

7:10 am on 28 January 2013

An Australian priest in Fiji says he is relieved the interim government has reversed its decision to cancel his work permit.

Father Kevin Barr was declared a prohibited immigrant last Friday and given two days to leave the country.

On Saturday, the expulsion order was rescinded.

This follows reports earlier this month that the regime leader Commodore Frank Bainimarama had used profanities in phone calls and text messages to express his displeasure about a letter to the editor Father Barr had sent to the Fiji Sun.

Father Barr, who has lived in Fiji for 32 years, says the order to leave came as a shock.

"I have friends and family, I live with a Fiji family here, and a lot of friends here and people I work with, so this is really my home and I would have been very saddened and disappointed if I had to leave so it was a great relief to know that I am able to stay on."

Father Kevin Barr says he is still not sure why he was declared a prohibited immigrant.