Friday, 12 June 2009 6:16 PM

Ysabel ready for statehood

I guess Mr Drumond O from Suva might view my article from different angle. My assertion to the above subject is my personal opinion as a lay person from Isabel on my Hon Premiers speech as reported by this paper that Isabel is ready for statehood. My view is that in what terms does the Hon Premier confidently state that Isabel is ready for statehood? Is it politically or economically or both.

I am not convinced by my Hon Premiers bold statement that Isabel province is "ready" for statehood for the following the reasons as earlier stated. Economically Isabel Province is not ready. What economic development activities apart from logging is going on in Isabel? I wonder if Drumond is from Isabel to inform the thread what economic activities (development) is going on in Isabel province that will sustain the so called state if we were to attain statehood now? In order for a state to be economically viable to provide the needed social services for the people, the state must have some sort of economic backbone to rely on for its revenue or will the revenue (money) to cater for social services as implied by my Hon Premier will fall from Heaven? or given by the Fedral government? if so then why quickly jump to statehood?. I understand that we have the TRIPOD system in place, and that could be the model that we in (Isabel) may want to adopt. Thats fine, it has been implemented and it works in our setting therefore politically?? we may say we are ready but what about economically? Isabel province do have the resources and the potential to prosper as a statehood if only our current leaders are proactive in moving the province forward,this is what I imply.

Development must be planned in a sustainable manner such that the state will benefit in a long term, not like what is happening now, logging covers the whole island and by the time we attain statehood, all the trees are gone. The next development project in the pipeline is the Nickel mining, the questions is are these projects or developments sustainable? These are simple questions that Isabelains should think about, more so our current political leaders, as we can say as much as we want, but we do not have the political will to get things done.

I totally disaggree with Drumond on the issue of statehood being the National governments problem. Infact, as we read on paper that the national government is working very hard to materialise the idea, and to ensure that institutions and integreties of statehood (groundworks) has to be all set before we jump into statehood. Its a non issue, what our leaedrs in Isabel should do now in preparation for statehood is plan what development activities are viable for Isabel, to create job opportuntities for our people to support themselves and generate revenue for the state in the long term. This will also lessen urban migration to other urban centres in other provinces or states in future in search for job opportunities. Fine example is at Noro, Isabelians dominate the fishing fleet and the cannery at one time, still now. What does this mean for our leaders and Isabelians? This is the crux of my discussion. Lastly, in my humble opinion "statehood is not a wish or take for granted thing, we have to be really prepared for it". if we want autonomy and to better serve our people, we should start plan now.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this letter/article are those of Ernest Kolly and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solomon Times Online.

Other Letters to the Editor All Letters
By GEOFFREY MAURIASI USP, Lacuala Campus, Fiji
By CHARLES KOULI Gizo, Western Province
By JAQUE FRIEDMAN New Zealand