5 Jun 2017

Fiji's CCF worried about asbestos threat

9:35 am on 5 June 2017

Fiji's Citizens' Constitutional Forum says it is worried by what is sees as the government's apparent lack of concern for people's health shown by its delayed reaction to an asbestos threat.

Last Thursday, the government shut down renovation work on the Suva Civic Centre, but only after concerns about asbestos in the old building materials were raised by international organisations.

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CCF Chief Executive Bulutani Mataitawakilai Photo: CCF

The Forum's chief executive Bulutani Mataitawakilai said people were still moving around near the area oblivious to the danger of exposure to asbestos, and more needs to be done.

"Anything that is a threat to the public life should be treated seriously and we should look at the governance issues surrounding how the matter should be worked across the lives of the people is very important and that is the right to know how harmful asbestos [are] is," he said.

Mr Mataitawakilai said there are strong labour laws in Fiji and hopes the Ministry of Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations can do more to better inform the public about the dangers of asbestos.