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-Loggers move into shipping

-Wale urges gov’t to act

By EDDIE OSIFELO

Loggers are reportedly moving into the shipping industry. And, this is raising eye brows.

Opposition Leader, Matthew Wale, raised this concern in parliament last week, urging government to act on this, protecting interests of Solomon Islands.

This invasion by the loggers is predicted to have bad impacts on the industry, local ship operators and people of Solomon Islands.

Delivering his speech on the $4-billion budget in Parliament last week, Wale said the local shipping industry is being killed by predatory practices by foreign logging companies.

“I recently received a copy of a letter by the Solomon Islands Maritime Transportation Association addressed to the Minister for Infrastructure complaining of predatory practices by logging companies who have entered into commercial shipping.

“It is not clear if they have FIB approval to enter into this industry,” he said.

Wale said these predatory practices are meant to kill off “our local ship owners and operators, and when that happens we will expect shipping rates to increase”.

He said the result will likely be no locals in the shipping industry in the mid to long term.

“This would be a terrible situation indeed.

“There should be protection for Solomon Islanders in the shipping industry,” he said.


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