作者: Radio New Zealand
11 February 2019
Villagers on Fiji's Malolo Island are upset that foreign developers of a resort are reportedly working without the required environmental approvals.
And the locals are outraged that raw sewage from the construction camps are entering their fishing grounds and causing other environmental damage.
...The Chinese developer, Freesoul Real Estate, is building a resort of about 370 bures on Malolo, which is off Fiji's main island Viti Levu.
...[L]ocals are outraged at what they say is roughshod construction and poor environmental management that's killed fish, destroyed mangroves and reefs, and seen exotic trees felled.
...[T]he site's ownership is disputed and the villagers also want that matter resolved.
...Bradley Robinson, who is the chief executive of Fiji Gateway, which operates another resort on Malolo, says public meetings as part of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process were held at the village.
..."What we need to understand is the landowners themselves granted the lease and granted consent for that development to happen on that site. Not that the landowners can give a developer a building approval, but the landowners themselves granted the lease.
...The New Zealand website, Newsroom...reported that the developers ignored two court orders and are running roughshod over Fijian environmental law, permits, the environment and the locals.
...[T]he government...announced that it's likely Freesoul will face criminal charges.
An opposition MP Lenora Qereqeretabua has called for an independent inquiry into what's happening on Malolo.
"If this company has gotten away. How come so many Chinese companies are being allowed to get away with flouting our laws? We've got good laws. We just don't police them. And I don't think the punishment that is being given out is severe enough to discourage this kind of behaviour from - in particular - Chinese companies."...