Rnz reported that Fiji’s Department of Environment says real estate developer Freesoul Limited should not have carried out any construction work on Malolo Island in 2018, even though the company had a lease.
The case against Freesoul returned to court this week – the company is charged with one count of undertaking unauthorised development and failure to comply with a prohibition notice.
The State alleges Freesoul carried out development on land at Wacia without an approved Environment Impact Assessment report.
Fiji’s Director for Environment, Sandeep Singh, told the court she had issued a stop-work notice to Freesoul on 1 June, 2018.
Ms Singh said construction work by the company at the site was due for an Environment Impact Assessment. The court also heard the prohibition notice was only for Wacia and not for other leases the company holds on Malolo. The hearing continues in the Suva Magistrates Court.
On 06 March 2020, Al Jazeera’s TV network aired a 25-minute documentary in its ongoing program, accused of ruining land and intimidating locals as it builds Fiji’s biggest resort, a 350 bure resort on Malolo Island near a world-famous surf break. This tourism development was being promoted as part of the Chinese government’s Belt and Road policy. Malolo is a tiny volcanic island in the Mamanuca Island chain off the west coast of Viti Levu.