LOCAL NEWS IN BRIEF
Pay your rates
THOSE who owe city rates to the Suva City Council are urged to clear their dues as soon as possible or their names will be published in the dailies and submitted to the Data Bureau. That's the message from council special administrator Chandu Umaria who said ratepayers had been given about eight months to clear their dues. Ratepayers owe the council about $18million.
MEMBERS of the public who have not registered to vote for the 2014 elections can do so at the Hibiscus Festival. Three voter registration centres are operating at Albert Park from 10am to 10pm. The main centre in the park is next to the NFA booth, another is in the VIP section and the third is in the Government Buildings foyer. Elections permanent secretary Mohammed Saneem said the festival provided an opportunity for Fijians to register.
"WE all need to work together as Fijians, be more considerate of each other as citizens, see ourselves as equal and treat people on their merits instead of which family they happen to come from." PM Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama said these words during his recent visit to Rewa District. He said Fijians needed to be more patriotic and take pride in being Fijian.
THE QVSOB association will replace all items that were lost in the Rewa dorm fire earlier this month. "We just want to assure the parents of those kids who were affected that we will replace all the items they've lost and I'd just like to thank all who've contributed," association president Anasa Vocea said. He said the old boys would most probably spend $15,000 to $20,000 to replace the items.
THOSE converging for the Hibiscus Festival in Suva have been warned not to litter in the CBD. Suva City Council officials will be around the Capital City to ensure those polluting the environment are taken to task. Council special administrator Chandu Umaria said despite the council having full-time cleaners in the CBD, people were still disposing of rubbish carelessly.
Abuse cases up
THE Social Welfare Ministry has noted an increase in the number of child abuse cases in recent years. A statement from the ministry said its Child Services Unit recorded 317 child abuse cases in 2012, an increase from 2011. Also, the National Child Welfare Register of the ministry recorded 123 cases between January and April this year.
NFA is calling on parents to take time to discuss fire safety with their children as the second term holiday begins today. CEO John O'Connor said the lives of seven children were lost last year as a result of fires. He said they needed the support and assistance of parents to ensure children were supervised during the holiday.
MORE Fijians are being encouraged to apply for the Diversity Visa Lottery offered by the US Embassy once a year. Immigrant visa chief Cyndee Crook said the lottery received about 12,000 applications annually from Fijians. Applications may be submitted from next month.