Maneniaru questions marine inquiry - Solomon Star News

Maneniaru questions marine inquiry

13 August 2020
John Maneniaru.

THE Undersecretary of the Ministry of Infrastructure Development (MID) Jimmy Nuake says the report by the Board of Marine inquiring into the fatal ferry incident is still unclear whether it will be made public or not.

He made this assurance when Public Accounts Committee (PAC) member and Member of Parliament for West Are’are John Maneniaru questioned whether the report will be made public at all.

It was understood that the inquiry was conducted into the fatal voyage of the MV Taimareho on 2 April during which 27 people lost their lives in extremely rough seas associated with Cyclone Harold.

Maneniaru told the MID officials that he wrote two official letters to the Ministry of Infrastructure Development (MID) but haven’t received a response to date.

“Or maybe the approach was not right?” he further questioned.

Nuake told PAC that honestly he was not aware of the letters nor had he received any to that extent. 

The Solomon Star also understands that in May 2020, the director of the Solomon Islands Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre Jonah Mitau said that the inquiry into the T27 incident was completed.

Mr. Mitau further said then that the board was in the process of compiling its findings and recommendations for submission to the MID Minister.

He said once the government approves the report, then the recommendations can be implemented.

Mr. Nuake said that it will be good if the findings are made public but there is no guarantee that this will happen.

On the same note, Maneniaru said they have already received the ‘imposed defects’ under a SIMSA report, and its tough. 

“Whilst we accept the report, it will make sense if SIMSA and SIMA can apply the same imposed defect across the whole marine industry,” Maneniaru said.

“If it only applies to MV Taemareho, to us, this is really unfair.

 “We are all aware that the accident was triggered by a cyclone (Cyclone Harold) which the shipping company continues to feel its impacts and the imposed defect would only add further harm.

“I believe MV Taemareho is very new since its arrival in our water and we also keep up with the marine requirements.

“With what SIMSA and SIMA imposed on MV Taemareho, I know a lot of ships operating in the country do not meet the necessary marine requirements and yet they continue to remain operational to this day.

 “I believe such measure will serve its purpose well once the shipping industry in the country is improved as well as fair application of such laws by governing institutions,” Maneniaru told MID officials.

Whilst agreeing with Maneniaru, Mr. Nuake said that his ministry is noting the honorable member’s concern.