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Look North Policy a failure, says candidate

Luke Rawalai
Friday, July 04, 2014

THE Look North Policy is a failure, says SODELPA candidate Nirmal Singh.

In a statement, Mr Singh said that as a party, they were shocked and saddened at the state of affairs on Vanua Levu.

According to the statement, people of Vanua Levu continue to toil in immense hardship and they were suffering.

"The Look North Policy of the government has failed to deliver and it is only full of talk," he said.

"We must 'walk our talk' and I thank the people of Vanua Levu for openly raising issues that seriously affected them and we assure them that we will give immediate priority to bring relief to our people.

"We seriously take their views and share their dilemma and we will incorporate the peoples' concerns and address these in our manifesto."

Mr Singh said he was not surprised at how so many people in the North were moving away from the Northern Division and settling in squatter settlements in the Suva-Nausori corridor.

"They have nothing going on for them there and instead of spending millions in sustaining squatter settlements, we will invest those funds in developing rural economy so that people do not move away from their settlements looking for better opportunities elsewhere.

"We must give back our town and city councils to our ratepayers and empower our ratepayers to elect their own representatives to city and town councils.

"They should decide how the councils are run and they will prioritise the need for developments."

Mr Singh added they were shocked that Labasa Town did not have a proper fish market and that fishermen still sold their catch from boats and along the river.

"This is unacceptable and we will work with the elected representatives of the council to ensure Labasa has a proper designated and hygienic fish market."

Meanwhile, Commissioner North Alipate Bolalevu said the Look North Policy was initiated by the then Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua government.

Mr Bolalevu said the government had major infrastructure development projects already in place on Vanua Levu.

He said they had original plans for the refurbishment of the Labasa market and that the price of licences for fishing and fish sale was one of the cheapest in the world.

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