Leader of Opposition Matthew Wale has called on the Commissioner of Forests to suspend Xian Ling Timber (SI) Ltd’s logging licence for the damage the company is causing to the Lata airstrip runway; and to direct the company to repair the damage immediately.
The Opposition Leader’s call follows a recent report that the company’s ongoing use of the runway as a logging road is destroying the condition of the runway making it unsafe for planes to land.
“This is just not on and I am surprised that no action has been taken earlier to stop this reckless attitude resulting in Solomon Airlines raising safety concerns over the company’s activities.
“It is mandatory under our laws for logging companies to build their own operation related roads and to respect public and private property.
“This is clearly not the case here and this does not reflect well on the responsible authorities,” says Mr Wale.
Lata Airport provides a vital link between Temotu province and the rest of the country, and this link is vital for medical and economic reasons amongst others and so any activities interfering with these important needs should not be tolerated and must be dealt with severely.
“I therefore call on the Commissioner of Forests to quickly suspend this company’s operations, to call on it to rectify the damage done and to ensure that it does not use the runaway again,” he adds.