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Fr Beu cautioned over mining in Santa Cruz

GIVEN the anger among the local community about bauxite mining in Santa Cruz, Temotu province, youths of the island have raised their hands to protest against mining on the island.

Spokesperson, James Menai of Nangu village in Santa Cruz has cautioned Fr Brown Beu, who made controversial comments in the media saying, “only outsiders were opposed to mining in the province”, to be careful with the issue he is dealing with.

This comes after Australian Bauxite miner Pacific Bauxite mining was granted a prospecting licence for the island.

It was reported that Father Brown Beu has said that the granting of a prospecting licence was in the best interests of the province and only outsiders and foreigners were opposed to it.

But speaking to Island Sun yesterday, Mr Menai said the land on Santa Cruz Island is customary land and is owned by many tribes.

He said any further developments on the proposed bauxite mining on the island may lead to fueling tension because most of the land owning tribes oppose mining on their land.

Mr Menai demanded Father Brown Beu and his cohorts to stop this mining activity and concentrate on fisheries, agriculture and tourism development activities.

“I don’t think mining is good development, logging and mining for that matter only destroy our land and forests.

“To Father Beu, with your four terms now, why don’t you seek funding elsewhere to develop our province instead you and the current executive bring in this mining company to destroy this tiny island,” said Mr Menai.

He said the provincial government should partner with resource owners of the multi-million water bottling investment on Santa Cruz which has already undergone a ground breaking.

“To conclude, I want to call on Father Brown Beu to voluntarily step down. I want the provincial government to think on both sides of the coin about this mining prospecting, please look at the good and bad side and consider for yourself which of this two is the way forward for the province.

“Money can only bring trouble,” he warned.

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