BY JARED KOLI
FAMOA Trust Board stands by its commitment to meet with the concern parties after finalising all the arrangement with the Solomon Islands Government (SIG).
This is according to Chairman of the FAMOA Working Committee, Pellion Buare, after Alisae Laore – a spokesperson for a landowning group at Lofung in Shortland Islands, where a new patrol boat base will be built, raised disappointment on the Government and FAMOA in this newspaper this week.
Mr Laore questions the Government and FAMOA on why they were left out of ongoing consultations and negotiations over the land to build the new patrol boat outpost project.
Laore said FAMOA is just an association and trustees for landowning groups, but they have never consulted them on what is currently going on as the groundbreaking is expected at the end of this month to kick off work on this major national project.
But responding to this, Mr Buare said: “FAMOA is not just an association. FAMOA is a Trust Board, it is actually the registered owner of Lofung land, which is the site for the project. FAMOA, however, still stands by its commitment to meet with the concerned parties after finalising all the arrangement with SIG.”
However, Mr Laore maintains that as the groundbreaking is said to be held at the end of the month, they must know their position first, prior to the event.
“They should consult us before the groundbreaking so that we know our position before the event, instead they do all the arrangements behind our back,” Laore said.
He said FAMOA has set a precedence on the case of World War II relics sale at Balalae, where the final arrangements were signed all parties involved, including customary land owners.
“We want to see these arrangements to include our inputs as well. We want to see the figures and conditions of the final arrangements or agreement before we agreed and signed,” Mr Laore said.
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Police and Correctional Services, Karen Galokale told Island Sun this week that tender and bidding process for the new patrol boat base is yet to be done, and work is yet to commence on the ground.
The new patrol boat outpost project will be built with support from the Government of Australia.