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$24,000 payout a lifeline for family

Mere Naleba
Tuesday, July 22, 2014

THE parents of a local fisherman who died on a foreign fishing vessel in Tahiti waters received $24,000 as compensation yesterday.

The deceased Tomu Koimoala, 24, was on the Chinese fishing vessel Lu Rong Yuan Yu 205 with his brother Andre Are Naoneata, 27, and his namesake Tomu Koimoala, 34, on January 9 when he lost his footing and fell overboard.

His parents Joe Toromai and Eti Benamini said they could now fulfil their son's dream to provide them with house.

Speaking in the iTaukei language Mr Toromai said before his second eldest son left their Marata Village home in Wailoku on December 20, 2013, he had bought roofing iron sheets to build a family house.

Mr Toromai said his family was with relatives but with the payout, he would be able to build a house for his family.

Labour Minister Jone Usamate, in handing over the cheque, said the ministry was reviewing legislation on workmen's compensation.

The law places a maximum compensation at $24,000 and Mr Usamate said the ministry was "looking at enhancing that area".

Mr Usamate said they had a budget of $1.5million for workmen's compensation with $1.2m paid out.

"You see what happens now with the current situation because for government employees there are funds available so as soon as your workmen's compensation is processed by government immediately the money can be made available," Mr Usamate said.

"But for the private sector because there is no such pool then you have to negotiate with the employer for the payout."

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