Extracting bauxite ore in Rennell is a way forward for Rennell and Bellona province in eradicating the many socio-economic problems, says William Tino, one of the landowner trustees.
In terms of economic revenue, improve a sustainable livelihood and to address many of social-economic problems with unemployment, bauxite mining is one way forward, he said.
“Utilization of our natural resources is the only way out.”
Tino said critics on whatever grounds are normal in any development and are pros and cons supposed to be weighed for a balance equation.
The call came amidst the bauxite mining saga in West Rennell with other opposing group not wanting the mining operations to proceed.
Recently a taskforce has been formed by some landowners, chiefs, the provincial government and other prominent leaders and elders of the province on pursuing the issue for reconsideration with the national government.
He said critics on APID not following the right procedures, the environmental impacts, probability of food scarcity and financial difficulties, conflict of interest, jealousy and pride are but the very common issues raised.
“This does exist; but the reality in Rennell with regard to the lifestyle today is changing a lot, people depending very much on refined goods such as rice and canned foods.
“Thus, the economic demand in today’s socio-economic setting cannot be denied,” he said.
“We are amongst the least when it comes to income capita, national revenue collections, high unemployment population and numerous push and pull factors.
“So we are a liability,” said the landowner trustee.
He questioned, should we wait to gain Statehood as proposed then we utilize these resources; more unlikely because it will never happen.
“Do you believe we could compromise on mining issues if by miracle we become state?, absolutely not.
“What is happening now is crystal image of who we are.”
He added that the so called Jonathan Tohuika calling for support to help him with his High Court case to stop APID is absolutely weird.
“For whose interest, whatever sweet words were mentioned, it all does not fit into our reality of issues today.
“And please stop using landowners’ terminology whenever you do your crusade.
“We need this mining project but it will be successful one only if we come together and work to achieve that success.”
Jonathan Tohuika said he cannot make comments whilst his court case against APID is still on-going at the High Court.
“I will respond fully later,” he said.
By BRADFORD THEONOMI