Shipping operator welcomes Maritime Transport Amendment Bill

Goundar Shipping owner, George Goundar watches as his new MV Lomaiviti Princess 8 comes in to dock at the Narain Jetty in Suva on Thursday, June 20, 2019. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

SHIPPING tycoon George Goundar has welcomed the Maritime Transport Amendment Bill.

This after it was enacted today in Parliament at the end of an hour of rigorous debate between Government and Opposition MPs.

The managing director of Goundar Shipping Services said it would benefit his company by enabling them to protect their routes with the coastal trade license of up to 20 years contract.

The Bill provides the ability for the Transport Minister to issue the licence with a contract of up to 20 years.

However, previously shipping companies were issued such licenses with only a one-year contract.

“Even though they didn’t consult us on the Bill, I am happy with it because it gives stability in our investment,” Mr Goundar said.

“This will also protect the shipping industry and give us the confidence to go into large investments by improving our fleet.”

Opposition MP Anare Jale said he hoped the Bill would improve shipping services to maritime islands.

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