Monday, October 13, 2008

Beddoes moots alternative Charter

Beddoes moots alternative Charter
www.fijilive.com - 13/10/2008


Ousted Opposition Leader Mick Beddoes is working on an alternative to the draft Peoples Charter, which he says will be simpler, more practical and relevant to Fiji.The main thrust of this alternative plan is to boost Tourism Fiji’s marketing fund, giving it as much as $100 million over five years to regain lost market share and bring back some of that “high yield” traffic. “In our plan the industry will be given the flexibility to use up some of the future funding in the initial years to create some impact marketing and once the industry is back to pre-2006 levels, it can adjust future marketing funds to a level that will see them use up the balance of the $100 million over the remaining part of the 5-year period,” he said.“And in exchange for this however, the industry will be required to deliver two things: First, it must create 5000 new jobs in the same 5-year period. Second: It must progressively shift over the 5 years, 50 per cent of its vegetable imports to local suppliers of vegetables. This will have the positive effect of injecting some $15.3 million in year one into the local economy and climbing to $76.9 million by year five.”Beddoes hopes that people will find his proposal very different because it will not only attempt to identify what people’s basic problems are but makes recommendations for practical solutions to these problems and outlines specific action on that is needed to be taken in order to solve these problems as well as how people will pay for it.For example, nowhere in the draft People’s Charter do they talk about the tourism industry, yet tourism is the most obvious choice to kick-start our economic recovery, he said.“For a document that covers the State of the Nation and Economy report, the Charter is silent on the industry.”Beddoes said his proposal would be a document which every citizen was invited to criticise, comment on or suggest alternative views too or reject if they feel so inclined.“It is an alternative viewpoint with ideas and suggestions about how we can resolve our current issues and I hope by comparing it with the Charter, people will be able to see how badly misled they have been,” he added.Beddoes will develop a website where the document will be posted.“And depending on the generosity of some sponsors to help pay for some printing costs, I will be able to print a certain number of copies and hopefully the media will see enough merit in it to publish it for the public's benefit.”

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