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Fiji Time: 6:43 PM on Wednesday 23 April

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$10m for town plan

Luke Rawalai
Friday, January 24, 2014

THE government will spend $10million to upgrade five development centres in towns across the country in the near future.

Under the 'New Town Concept', Seaqaqa will be the first town in Fiji where the concept will be implemented followed by Nabouwalu.

Speaking at a public consultation with stakeholders at the Seaqaqa Police Station yesterday, director Town and Country Planning Losana Rokotuibau said the new town concept was a new thing the Fiji Government was implementing through the department.

Ms Rokotuibau said it was a challenge for the department because it took their planning schemes to another level.

"The reason that we are implementing this new concept is to reduce the pressure of the rural to urban drift we have and ensure that we lessen the problems that agencies in urban areas face," she said.

"In our bid to bring these development centres to town level we will have to improve their water system, infrastructure, including their markets, bus stands and other amenities."

Ms Rokotuibau said the implementation of the new town concept required the co-operation of other agencies.

"We are managing something that is not entirely the council's responsibility because urban management involves all stakeholders from the government to non governmental sector including the commercial sector.

"Under the Local Government Act, if a community would like to be a town they make a submission to the Ministry of Local Government and this step is a way of telling government that the community is independent and can manage itself.

"That is why we have the central government and local government bodies; previously these areas were looked after by the central government, the Ministry of Health and Provincial Development."