Member of Parliament for East Choiseul Manasseh Sogavare has urged the Government to rule out mining from the country unless the sector is reformed with maximum benefits.
Speaking in Parliament today during the debate of the Business Names Bill 2014, Mr Sogavare warned the Government against its mining plans for Wagina in Choiseul Province.
“I heard some news Mr Speaker and the Government must be warned right here. Any moves by the Government and the so-called developer to force their way into the island will not be taken lightly. We buy ships, that is development. As a matter of fact the Solomon Islands Government and anyone else will be committing a big mistake if it tries to take a tough line on this matter using the alienated status of that island.”
Mr Sogavare adds, Wagina island has contributed enough to the development of the country by supporting the biggest seaweed industry in the South Pacific and the Government cannot risk destroying it through mining.
The East Choiseul MP says the Government should rule out mining unless the sector is reformed to ensure maximum benefits for the county.
“We should rule out mining unless we reform the mining sector itself to ensure that the landowners and the country benefit from the extraction of the minerals when you off set the wealth created with the environmental degradation associated with the development in the sector. And I again reiterate my position in this matter, this country can survive without mining.”