Gov’t knew nothing about Guadalcanal bill

Special Secretary to the Prime Minister Albert Kabui. Photo supplied
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THE Democratic Coalition for Government Advancement (DCGA) says it is not aware of the leaked Guadalcanal Affairs Bill 2021.

This so-called bill has been widely discussed and circulated on social media.

But Special Secretary to Prime Minister Albert Kabui told reporters yesterday no such bill has reached Caucus or Cabinet.

Kabui said at the beginning of the year, the Governor General announced the legislative calendar of the government.

“The only bills the Government is working on are those the governor general announced,” Kabui said.

“The Government knew nothing about the Guadalcanal Affairs bill,” he added.

Among other things, the bill aims:

  1. to recognise, participate and involve in policies, laws and decision makings when dealing with Guadalcanal affairs;
  2. to deal with the affairs of the Guadalcanal which includes Guadalcanal land, sea, forest resources, water resources, mineral resources, environment, traditional knowledge and development, climate change and natural disaster and anti-corruption and any matters relating to the Guadalcanal;
  3. to establish the Council of Chiefs to oversee the Guadalcanal affairs;
  4. to establish a Board to oversee and stimulate Guadalcanal affairs; and
  5. to strengthen and empower the existing traditional groupings of the Guadalcanal, church, women, men, youth, traditional tribal leaders within the Guadalcanal region.

A lawyer by profession and part Guadalcanal, Andrew Muaki posted on social media that the bill, if enacted, will seriously undermine the Guadalcanal Provincial Assembly and its law-making powers under the Provincial Government Act 1997( PGA).

“Likewise, this Bill is a threat to the functions of the Guadalcanal Provincial Government as devolved under the PGA,” he added.

“Just reading the purpose of the Bill as stipulated under clause 4 of Bill, one can easily conclude the demobilization of Guadalcanal Provincial Assembly and its provincial government has begun,” he claimed.

Muaki asserted that other provinces will likely meet the same fate very soon.