Vanuatu daily news digest | 2 July 2014

Daily Post this morning reflects the Prime Minister’s delight in the moves of the MSG to grant formal recognition to West Papua. This was the result of the MSG Special Meeting of Leaders in Port Moresby last week. An invitation has gone to all the bodies like WPNCL (headquartered here in Vanuatu) which represent West Papuan interests to form an umbrella body to take their case to the MSG. At the Summit, Natuman said, "leaders endorsed that the MSG and Indonesia take a more positive approach on the issue of West Papua and Papua by undertaking the initiative to conduct greater awareness … with respect to the Special Autonomy Arrangements and how this has contributed positively to the governance of the provinces by the local population."

The Vanuatu health services, Ministry and Rural health, are this year running an important survey of the facilities and services provided through clinics and aid posts throughout the country. The study is aiming to raise services at every such point. Sanma’s survey is almost completed and Torba is next Radio Vanuatu reported this morning.

Also on Radio Vanuatu this morning was the Director of Customs and Inland Revenue advising that small businesses which do not have a turnover greater than VT 4 million p.a. are having to pay a licence fee once again. This was approved by Parliament last year and became effective on 7 May this year. Bus or taxi services, kava bars, any place selling liquor, repair or maintenance services, small construction businesses, small stores, etc. will pay VT 10.000 p.a. Businesses smaller again (like street vendors of artifacts) will pay VT 5.000, and fines of 10% apply after 15 July (in addition to the fee) for every month unpaid.

Daily Post reports the findings of the Integrated Sustainable Land and Coastal Management Team to find likely conservation areas for the potential GF5 Fund. Places such as Lake Letas, Gaua, because of its endemic eels, is one such area in a total of eight. The newspaper report carries details of all and the reasons for their selection.