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Bina project remains top priority

THE Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources says Bina onshore processing project remains the Ministry’s highest priority since 2015.

Member of Parliament for West Are’are Hon John Maneniaru said the Ministry had tried all avenues to drive the project forward.

He said one clear setback on the project is land issue and that is the only barrier towards the positive implementation of the project.

Hon Maneniaru said the Ministry has been holding meetings with Bina Landowners over the past two years and is hopeful to settle and secure land before the end of 2017.

He stressed that his Ministry is working on best avenues to accommodate all landowners as number of landowners claiming ownership of Bina land continues to change each time.

“Even the high court decision made last year is subjected to appeal and challenge among land owners,” Hon Maneniaru said.

He said his Ministry’s support towards Bina Project is inclusive believing that accommodating all landowning groups will pave a way forward for positive implementation of the project.

Hon Maneniaru said the taskforce which comprises of officers from the Ministry of Fisheries, Prime Minister’s Office and Ministry of Lands is working really hard on the ground trying to unravel the existing barriers.

He said the project is currently funded by New Zealand Aid and his Ministry will ask the government for further funds if the need arises as the project is one of the government’s priority project.

“We are mindful of our responsibility to develop the fisheries industry to contribute effectively to economic development of the country,” Hon Maneniaru said.

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