Vanuatu daily news digest | 9 October 2013Posted: October 9, 2013
VBTC News reported Tuesday Prime Minister Carcasses has confirmed that negotiations will continue concerning Matthew and Hunter (or Leka) islands, the Vanuatu Government considering the islands are definitely part of Vanuatu. He discussed the matter at the United Nations and will touch on the topic in France from 12 October.
VBTC News today reports Vanuatu’s first Head of State, Ati George Skoomanu, saying he does not accept the statements made by Australian Prime Minister Abbott concerning the West Papuan activists, that they would not be welcome in Australia. Sokomanu said Abbott must explain his position to Pacific leaders. Whilst immigration issues can be dealt with by the courts, Sokomanu said, Australia must be prepared to discuss questions of human rights. And Australia and New Zealand, as close friends, should look closely at supporting West Papuan views in order to assist West Papua to achieve its independence. Sokomanu is a member of the Vanuatu Free West Papua Association.
Daily Post today identifies the issues concerning the agreement signed by Prime Minister Carcasses and Vanuatu Trade Development for a new airport at Rentabau. The two main issues are said to be seen as, firstly, whether the Contracts and Tenders Act applies. Secondly there is the matter of whether the PM can sign sign the agreement reached. Submissions have been made by the applicant and respondent, and common points outlined in Post, and the case resumes Monday.
Daily Post today also acknowledges Prime Minister Carcasses saying the wines taken outside the legal hours from the un-named shop were a gift. However, Post questions why there was no clear explanation to other shoppers wanting to purchase alcohol at that time. The PM arrived back from New York Friday, Saturday was Constitution Day and he did not have the time to collect the gift of the store for Constitution Day until Sunday.
The Ministry of Infrastructure and Public Utilities has launched its policy for the years 2014 to 2016. There are corporate, strategic and human resources policies which were decided with advice from the private sector and NGOs. Minister Esmon Saemon launched the policy document Monday.
Private sector training to increase the productivity and quality of meat in Vanuatu has begun on Efate. Handling and preservation of meat are also on the agenda. An SPC animal specialist is present to conduct the training.
The Ombudsman, Kalkot Mataskelekele, has said Vanuatu must reconsider the country’s tax haven status. He said this at the government consultation over the Capital Investment Immigration Plan (CIIP) where he was giving an opinion as a citizen of Vanuatu rather than as ombudsman.
The Vanuatu National Provident Fund (VNPF) is conducting an inspection period to ensure all businesses are up-to-date with contributions. Employers who are behind in payments will be contacted during October and November following an audit being carried out already.