DCCG Begins Consultations For Lasting Solutions On RIPEL

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Chairman of the Cabinet Sub-Committee on RIPEL Hon Dickson Mua launching the consultation programme

 The Democratic Coalition for Change Government (DCCG) has begun consultations this week with stakeholders and the public to find lasting solutions to the Russell Islands Plantation Estate Limited (RIPEL).

The Russell Islands Plantations has been one of the main economic drivers of the Solomon Islands economy before it collapsed in 2004.

The plantation previously contributed millions worth of production to the national economy per annum and employed more than 800 people.

Since then, the plantation is largely unproductive and shows no sign of returning to commercial activity unless outstanding issues are amicably resolved as the first step forward.

With RIPEL as one of the priority areas, the DCCG is committed to explore options and opportunities to move forward in ensuring that existing issues are addressed with a view to have Russell Islands Plantation Estates back to full operation.

The Cabinet Sub- Committee expressed that while this is not expected to be easy, the Government is confident that this can be achieved through a consultative approach and meaningful dialogue between the key stakeholders and all concerned parties with this consultation being part of the process undertaken to achieve that goal.

Above: National Consultant on RIPEL, John Kouni, speaking at the consultation launch. Below: Consultation launch attendants.

This consultation program is part of the activities that the RIPEL Cabinet Sub- Committee is carrying out in order to provide a fair and equal opportunity for all concerned and interested individuals and organisations.

The main objective of this consultation is to collect reliable and valuable information from reliable sources that the Sub Committee can rely on to provide a Report to the Government to consider and make informed decisions.  

This consultation process is useful and important in a lot of ways for all stakeholders, the national Government, the People of Russell Islands, Central Province and Solomon Islands.

The RIPEL Cabinet Sub-Committee was established to assist the Government to explore the best options and opportunities for the national government to address outstanding issues in a manner that is fair to all parties taking into account all competing and sometimes overlapping interests.

 The membership of RIPEL Cabinet Sub-Committee is drawn from stakeholder Government Ministries and other organisations and is guided by and operating within the Cabinet approved Terms of Reference.

The consultation process ends this Friday and a report is expected to be submitted to the Government early next year.