BY BEN BILUA
PROVINCIAL Secretary of Western Province who is also the chairperson of Western Provincial Disaster Operation Committee (WPDOC) says no ship is allowed to enter the province unless authorised by WPDOC and the National Oversight Committee.
Jeffrey Wickham made the statement as ship owners continue to ignore WDPOC public and health measures travelling to Western Province without following due processes.
He said a number of boats have sailed to Western Province without clearance from the National Oversight Committee and the Western Province Government over the past days.
Wickham stressed that restriction on ships and planes is still enforced.
“I want to make it clear to ship owners that ban on ships and planes is still enforced and I’m extremely disappointed that some ship owners fail to adhere to this advice. You are not only making things difficult for us but also pose a great risk to people of Western Province.
“For safety and proper planning, there are procedures to follow that WPDOC will inform you to satisfy safety protocols,” he said.
Wickham said ships that wish to travel to Western Province must satisfy WPDOC’s conditions and procedure before entering the province.
“If you intentionally ignore this call, come at your own risk,” he said.
Premier of Western Province, Christian Burley Mesepitu said ships who fail to respect Western Province’s safety procedures will be dealt with.
He said his government stands ready to take legal action available under Western Province ordinance.
“If you want your business license cancelled, do it at your own risk. My government will work closely with Western Province Disaster Committee (PDC) to deal with ships that enter our province without our approval,” Mesepitu said.
In the meantime, Wickham calls on Maritime Division in Honiara to increase surveillance on cargo ships that continues to ignore advises.