Vanuatu daily news Digest | 13 February 2015

Yesterday’s Daily Post news (and apologies for my lateness) has the aviation industry strongly opposed to an annual licence fee increase by the Radio-communications Regulator (TRR), a much greater hike (VT56,520) than that proposed by the Civil Aviation Authority (VT10,080). All aircraft operators, from Air Vanuatu down, were supportive of Civil Aviation operating the radio licensing.

Daily Post also had the signing of an agreement with the United Development Bank of the Pacific for the building of a new Hall of Justice in Port Vila. Justice Minister Carlot said the agreement also covers court houses in Luganville, Saratamata, Lakatoro and Isangel. He added that the Port Vila court would be on the site of the old Joint Court when speaking to Radio Vanuatu News. The United Development Bank’s President Lai said the building of the Port Vila Hall of Justice could be accomplished in less than the two years being taken for the Convention Centre. Observers wonder whether this new court agreement sadly puts puts aside any consideration of the huge Convention Centre being transformed to become the country’s new court house, something which would be more likely to ensure its continued maintenance. Minister Carlot told Radio Vanuatu listeners that the plan still had to go to the Development Committee of Officials (DCO) and Council of Ministers (CoM), then Parliament.

Radio Vanuatu News this morning has a big Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction consultation planned next week for the Holiday Inn conference centre rather than the government inspired convention centre set up for such meetings at Le Lagon a few years ago. This is scheduled for next week. DG Climate Change Jotham Napat says Vanuatu is considered highly vulnerable to climate change and natural disaster and is also said to be a regional leader in policy formulation. Island country representatives will come for the meeting. The public is invited. The meeting begins on Tuesday.

Monday saw the start of a project of much greater financial benefit to Vanuatu than halls of justice or international gabfest auditoria with the ground-breaking for the new immense wharf renovation at Luganville. PM Joe Natuman and DPM Ham Lini were on hand to witness the start of the Chinese Aid rehabilitation project along with Chinese Ambassador Xie Bohua. As Natuman pointed out, the project clearly will benefit the people of Vanuatu through economic and social development. The Shanghai Construction Group is responsible for the project works which were agreed with the Chinese Presidency during the Nadi Summit late last year. Post carried a photo of the leaders at the ground-breaking.

Post yesterday also carried a photo of damage to property at USP Laucala Bay allegedly caused by a Vanuatu Government sponsored USP student. The Vanuatu Education Ministry is disturbed to learn of the student’s irresponsibility. And the Labour Department is also preparing a report on seasonal worker complaints to the media in Bundaberg, Queensland. Such complaints, Labour Commissioner Kaluat said to Jonas Cullwick, do much to harm the country’s reputation.