Vanuatu daily news digest | 28 May 2014

An historic signing over to custom owners of two titles to the land of the Belmol Santo cattle project, operated as Milai Vanuatu Limited, took place yesterday in the Ministry of Lands in the Pompidou Building. Custom owner declarations have been made to the huge property over eight years, and Nicholas Lee of Milai said he was pleased that at last a start could be made to the issuing of lease agreements. The Lands Ministry and Department are working to resolve disputes where custom owners of the remaining Belmol/Milai land are concerned. This is the first such land return since Independence in 1980. Minister Regenvanu praised the commitment of Milai Limited to ensure the correct process was followed.

The Sarakata hydro project land claim is being settled and four land owners have confirmed to Radio Vanuatu News that resumption of power from the VUI hydro project will resume this week. Power to Luganville households has had to be supplied from town generators rather than the new hydro source owned by Vanafo people recently. Energy Department personnel attended a meeting at Santo yesterday. A payment is being transferred this week to the custom land owners. Namele fronds will be removed from the site by the custom owners today.

PM Natuman has committed the government to finding ways of ending the practice of floor crossing to remove governments. He stated that he wanted to give credibility to the performance of the country’s national leaders. The people of Vanuatu must be able to make inputs to the proposed legislative and other changes needed during the next 12 months in meetings in constituencies, he said.

Graon mo Jastis Efate MP, Gillion William Kalotiti has allocated an amount of VT 300.000 from his MP allowances for 25 students from his constituency allowance. This will be handed over tomorrow. The amount will be for the second term of the academic year.

Entrepreneur Ross Wilson of the Joint Court area died on Monday. Long associated with Wilco and the Cocoa Project at Lambubu he was also involved in the building industry – BFJ Construction. He had been active in the golf and yacht clubs. His funeral will take place at 9 on Friday at the Port Vila Cemetry.

Despite the Belmol and VUI energy cases at Santo being quickly taken up by the infant Natuman Government, Santo Rural Iauko Group MP Hosea Nevu remains unhappy that Santo has not had a ministerial appointment in the new government, Daily Post reports today. The paper also reports ousted PM Carcasses had to witness his leaders Regenvanu, Natapei and Natuman crossing the floor. Carcasses, it says, is now "regularly courting toppled MPs" for a motion of no confidence in the Natuman Government. Daily Post says it has established that a motion cannot be deposited during the month of June because of the World Cup.

Tomorrow, Ascension Day and a public holiday in Vanuatu, there will be held the largest garage sale ever and family fun day at the Saralana Park opposite Parliament and adjacent to the Cultural Centre. Friends Vanuatu and the Vanuatu Society for Disabled People are raising money for specialised therapy equipment for children and adults. The events start at 9am and donations of clothing, household items, jewelry and books, garden and household items are still appreciated.