Vanuatu daily news digest | 25 January 2015Posted: January 25, 2015
The office of Customary Land Management in the Justice Ministry has announced that anyone who has a dispute concerning a Land Tribunal judgement has until 20 February 2015 to ask the Island Court to review the decision. This affects decisions of village tribunals, joint village land tribunals, sub-area land tribunals and joint sub-area land tribunals. On 20 February, those decisions which have not been appealed will be taken as the last and final decision concerning land ownership. Complaints against decisions made should go to the Island Court.
Head of State Baldwin Lonsdale paid a tribute to Australia as Vanuatu’s largest aid donor at the official Australia Day function on Thursday, in advance of the actual day, Monday 26 January. President Lonsdale expressed gratitude for Australian support to Vanuatu. High Commissioner Jeremy Bruer had emphasized that Australia will always assist Vanuatu in meeting shared objectives. A "just, educated, healthy and wealthy nation" is what both countries wish to see in Vanuatu, he said. Big achievements singled out by Radio Vanuatu News were Women through the Market for Change Programme, police, health and education (through scholarships), technical vocational education training (TVET), the Australia Pacific Technical College (APTC), the Vanuatu Education Support Programme and many more.
The Independent has the Attorney General stating that the appointment of Christopher Griggs to prosecute criminal cases as regards the Police was not a flawed process. Many people must feel that the recent issues so damaging to the uniformed services would greatly benefit from an explanation by Prime Minister Natuman when all we hear seems to come from high-ranking police force members, or now the AG.
Jim Batty in Letters to the Editor in Post on Saturday draws attention to a meeting which took place in September concerned with the Industry Development Act. Private sector representatives at the meeting pointed out that the Act is deeply flawed. It will enable forms of taxation on primary product exporters. The regulations proposed, Batty eloquently remarks, are "pointless until the issues regarding the Act are addressed." The Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Industry is taking up the concerns with Government.
This morning Radio Vanuatu listeners learned that the Port Vila Municipal Council has improved revenue collection with some new bases for income generation and expense reduction. Much more street lighting will be taken on charge by Unelco.
Listeners heard the announcement that the Fresh Water 6 water supply problem will be dealt with by Unelco next month was greatly applauded by those present at the meeting Wednesday which saw the resuscitation of the moribund Vanuatu Housing Corporation. The body seems now to have a management team and chairman who might be able to deliver on its promise to promote affordable housing to all applicants, especially in secure employment, throughout the country.
The Saturday Daily Post reports a further six local ships being detained at Santo following the Ports and Harbours crackdown on those which are breaking rules, or are late in making payments required under the law. The detained vessels will be released upon compliance.
Fuel prices will drop on February 1 between 6 and 10 vatu a litre. It is expected there will be further lowering of the price in the coming months.