That house

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Work on new PM residence starts

By EDDIE OSIFELO

WORK on the new official residence of the Prime Minister is on track adjacent to the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) headquarters overlooking Honiara city.

This was after the Central Tender Board awarded the contract to a builder to start work on the site.

Ministry of Infrastructure Development Permanent Secretary, Stephen Maesiola is currently on leave so has been unable to provide an update.

In 2018, Under Secretary Jimmy Nuake said the Government through MID had approved the plan to build a new official residence for the Prime Minister.

Nuake said the move was based on Government’s policy initiated in 2016.

Prior to that, the Prime Minister is normally accommodated at the Red House at Vavaya Ridge.

MID had already demolished the Red House and late last year fire engulfed the Guard House.

An officer at Architectural Design at MID said currently there is still no plan to rebuild the run-down Red House.

Island Sun understands work at new PM’s residence at FFA started after the completion of design, geotechnical work and boundary survey.

Previously, former Prime Minister Danny Philip decided not to reside at Red House due to deteriorating condition of the building after Dr Derek Sikua left.

However, incoming PM, Gordon Darcy Lilo decided to move in the Red House after small renovation was carried out on it.

After that, Rick Hou and Manasseh Sogavare decided to reside at their private residences at Lunga, East Honiara, rather than moving into Red House.

Their decision attracted public criticisms because they decided to reside at their own residence rather than in a government residence.

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