Western provincial government (WPG) will rehabilitate the current Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) complex located near the Gizo wharf into a provincial meeting complex.
This was revealed by the Western provincial finance minister Lester Saomasi Huckel in an interview with Solomon Star on Thursday.
Mr Huckel said currently a tender is being made to allow a contractor to rehabilitate the building since a budget was approved for the renovation work.
“We have approved a budget during our assembly meeting this week to fund the rehabilitation of this MSG building.”
The provincial finance minister said once a contractor is identified work will kick off immediately.
He explained the building would become a meeting space where organisations and provincial groups around the province and Honiara can organise their meetings or other activities.
Currently the building is just open with no walls and is being used as a shelter by the public while waiting to board ships or when they arrive in Gizo before traveling to the nearby islands.
“But now the province has decided to rehabilitate this building to become a meeting place for the province and other organisations who wants to conduct their meeting in Gizo,”he said.
The MSG building was constructed many years ago to host a top level MSG meeting in Gizo.
However, the building was never completed and is now left idle as a public spot where a number of activities hosted in Gizo have been organised there.
Meanwhile a Western province man Mahe Tolipio who is currently in Honiara expressed concern over the news to turn the current MSG complex into a meeting hall.
“My fear and concern is that once the building has walls and is closed off, it would affect the traveling public passing through Gizo.
“For years many people from the nearby islands of Gizo, Kolombangara, Ranoggah, Vella La Vella and even Choiseul have been using the MSG hall as a resting place.
“When they arrive in Gizo from their villages or Honiara and face problem with transport difficulties to travel to their villages, they would use the building to take shelter because its open and just situated next to the main wharf. And this has served the public very well.
“But once this building is closed off it would definitely affect a lot of traveling public.”
He added if this building is shield off, many people would use the market to spend their nights while waiting for their transport.
Another Western province man Jones Gago said its important that the current government should realise the great help this complex is currently doing to the traveling public.
He then suggested that the province should allocate a space where a public hall is built so that people can seek shelter when they passed through Gizo.
By DENVER NEWTER