Gov’t slams ‘misleading’ media report

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The Government through its Cabinet Sub-Committee Secretariat this week described as ‘inaccurate and misleading’ news report in the Island Sun newspaper regarding goodwill payment to RIPEL workers.

Published on the front-page of the newspaper on Tuesday this week and carrying the headline ‘BURYING $10M BONE’, the media report stated that a cabinet sub-committee on the privately owned RIPEL was settling a $10million goodwill payment for former workers.

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But in a statement the Cabinet Sub-Committee Secretariat stated the article was inaccurate as the set-up of the Cabinet Sub Committee was to look into the defunct copra operations under RIPEL at Russell Islands and not ‘solely’ the issue of the Former Workers Claim (FWC).

“In 2004, an industrial dispute between RIPEL and its own workers saw the closure of operations at Russell Islands. The FWC was therefore an intervention by the Solomon Islands Government in 2010.

“The RIPEL Cabinet Sub-Committee did an independent assessment on the FWC and a report is being processed ready for Cabinet deliberations,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and the RIPEL Cabinet Sub-Committee recently held the first of a series of meetings called the Investor Dialogue Series.

“The Investor Series is aimed at getting together technical people to draw out incentives for investment in Russell Islands.

“It is a cross-sectoral opportunities approach and that various sector opportunities can be enhanced to promote investment in Russell Islands. “The major sectors include the coconut and tourism industries. It is a Government backed initiative to pull together resources to promote and facilitate investment in Russell Islands.”

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