The Malaita Alliance for Rural Advancement (MARA) government on Thursday 4 June delivered the High Court Order to the 13 logging companies current operating in MPG without provincial business licences and or outstanding business licences for the 2019 financial year. The Order was dated 29thMay 2020. High Court Order for the 14thcompany is being pursued.
In a notice to all defendants, all companies must either file a response within 14 days of the date of service and then a defence within 28 days of the date of service.
The order retrains all logging activities to cease until they comply fully and lawfully with the Malaita Province Business License Ordinance (Amendment) 2014. All logging companies concern must also pay their outstanding business license fees. The arrears owned by logging company totalled to sum of $1,460,000.00.
The Province on 15th April 2020 issued a 14 days grace period public notice addressed to all felling license Holders, all felling logging contractors and all logging operators in Malaita Province. Only two felling license holders attend the meeting that was organised by the province.
The premier of Malaita Province said that his government is very concern about the behaviour of the logging companies in the province. For the information of the logging companies and anyone wanting to do business in Malaita province, it must be known to them that under section 4 of Malaita Business Licence Ordinance 1992, no person is allowed to operate any business in the province unless he or she first granted a license by the Executive in accordance with the said Ordinance. In addition under section 6(v) of the same Ordinance it states that “no business license shall be issued until the whole fee is paid”.
The premier said that the logging industry is notorious for its unfair dealings with our people and interference with our national and provincial governments. However, under the leadership of the MARA government we can longer accept this arrogance. The MARA government warned the logging companies in his province that they must follow the rules of engagement or they will be moved out from Province.