Vanuatu daily news digest | 25 July 2014

The serious business to hand is the already mentioned sitting of Parliament from Monday 28 July to August 4. We now know that the agenda for the 3rd Extra-ordinary sitting includes another supplementary budget to help bring Health, the Police and State Law Office back to where they should be. The Ad Hoc Committee for the International Airport at Rentabau review is to report to this sitting. As of late this afternoon it is said by those who know what they are talking about that this review will not be acceptable to the majority of MPs. The Vanuatu Trade Development Pty Ltd company has not delivered on even the first item for which the 350 million US dollars contract was promised by former PM Carcasses. This was for the essential repairs to the runways and taxi-way at Bauerfield which were to have been resolved 11 months ago. The airport runways at Bauerfield remain in such a parlous state that PM Joe Natuman spoke of their being likely to be closed by the International Civil Aviation Organization at short notice on 1 July. Sunday this weekend is the first anniversary of Carcasses signing with the Asian businessmen who are He Mak Kum Hoong David and and Eric Ong Kok Eng. It is said by aviation observers that since they were unable to deliver on this most basic piece of airport infrastructure they will certainly not get the chance to own / operate Vanuatu’s next major international hub. Or to take over Airports Vanuatu Limited, They originally came to Vanuatu to grow tobacco on tobacco on Tanna. Also said to be on the agenda for the forthcoming Parliament sitting – that other invention of the former Government – CIIP. This has certainly not enabled a leg-up for Health, the Police or SLO so far. Maybe there are brighter prospects awaited.

Meanwhile, we have had National Children’s Day yesterday and the Independence celebrations were launched this morning with great effect at the seafront.