I do not represent only a handful of communities or provinces, nor any single part of Fiji, I represent every Fijian.
These were the sentiments of the Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama while opening the Adi Natuicake Festival in Suva today.
Bainimarama says he serves every man, woman and child that calls our islands home, and whether they live in cities, rural areas or maritime regions, he believes every person deserves to play a full and equal role in our development as a nation.
He says it is true, the Lau geography presents serious challenges to development, but that is not their burden to bear as it is the duty of the government to make special efforts to meet those challenges, and they are doing just that.
Bainimarama says government’s goal has been to bring developments and services to outer islands that are on par with what Fijians residing on Viti Levu have available, because he believes that location in Fiji should never be a barrier to success.
The Prime Minister says they have invested in schools, roads and infrastructure including access to water and electricity in maritime regions to bring comfort and security to those in society who are most vulnerable.
He says government will be extending the reach of their services to the Lau group by establishing a births, deaths and marriages registry in Lakeba.
Bainimarama says once that has been set‑up, the people in Lau will no longer have to travel great distances to simply register a birth, death or marriage.
He says they have also introduced a number of tax packages to encourage investment in maritime services and thereby bringing Lau closer into the fold of our economic progress.
Bainimarama says these will give incentives to operators to maintain and expand the routes that is relied on to sell goods, see loved ones and generally access the rest of our islands.
He says in this year's budget, they have also reduced the duty on the importation of spare parts for maritime vessels to zero to make it easier to maintain vessels operating throughout Fiji.
Meanwhile the Prime Minister also announced that he will be launching the AM radio services through the state broadcaster next week.Listen to the latest news on our 5 radio stations Legend FM, Viti FM, Radio Sargam, FM96 and Navtarang.