A LOGGING licence holder, landowner and chief, Kollish Tutua of Katupika ward in south Choiseul has questioned the government through the Ministry of Forestry on issues relating to the logging industry.
He said that there are lots of issues that were left unnoticed by the government of the day which affects the lives of local landowners and their villagers as a whole.
In an interview with this paper this week, the licensee said that currently, the landowners are the ones facing the consequences.
“Today, the logging companies are not investing in the country but in their own countries which is opposite from what we expect,” Mr Tutua said.
“When coming into the country, they usually bring with them their own employees. This is something that was not practiced in the country since the logging industry started decades ago.
“This has stopped local chainsaw and machine operators to engage or be employed in logging activities that are taking place in their lands,” Mr Tutua said.
Mr Tutua got involved in the logging industry for many years now and has seen so many issues that the government failed to address.
He also told the Solomon Star that the current system of royalty payments that the operators paid to landowners and licence holders is not quite fair.
He added that, royalties paid to the landowners should not be taxed because it is given money to the people that owned lands in the country.
“From my understanding, the royalty should not be taxed by the government because it is disbursement money paid to landowners.
“Second, royalty money should not be used as operational money because it is a royalty payment,” he said.
Meanwhile, he also appeals to the government to be prompt with its process to review the Forestry Act which is also stated in the policy statement of the DCC government.
By RONALD TOITO’ONA