Vanuatu Daily News Digest | 20 August 2015

After 2 days of none from the Digest, "here is the news" …

Fulfilling the already established Right to Information (RTI) policy is today a commitment of government according to both Radio Vanuatu News and Daily Post. Legislation is to be passed this year to ensure that the right to know, transparency and freedom of information precepts on which this policy is based are practised within the national context. A unit to ensure implementation is being set up by the Government Chief Information Officer, Fred Samuel. The legislation was promised by PM Kilman in a recent media briefing.

The Mayor of Luganville will be elected tomorrow Daily Post tells us today, following the clarification of certain legal issues relating to the northern town’s election. The new council has 13 members including 5 women.

The Mayor of Port Vila, Ulrich Sumtoh, sees women as already helping to assist the capital’s council financially through various initiatives women have put forward. Port Vila has faced a massive drop in revenues of certain kinds, Radio Vanuatu News tells us today, from 93 m vatu of some good many years ago, to just 6 m vatu presently.

Parliament Speaker Pipite has a brand new official vehicle. He handed over the keys of the former car to Acting Opposition Leader Ham Lini this week. He indicated the older vehicle is still in perfect condition, Daily Post tells us today. He also says in Radio Vanuatu News that the Parliament building must very soon undergo repairs. He describes the building as dilapidated in today’s Daily Post. Certain government departments are still working from the main building in town, even though it is condemned. Others, which used to be there, are working from Melitco House now. Yet apparently we still have money for new cars.

The Vanuatu Project Management Unit says the ground-breaking ceremony for the 1.45 billion vatu project for the beautification of the seafront will take place on 28 August. It will proceed following recommendations of the Vanuatu Tourism Project. The New Zealand Government is helping massively along with the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) as part of the WTO Aid-For-Trade programme and the Vanuatu Government is also contributing. This includes the area from the Seafront to Fung Kuei and Fatumauru Bay to Chantilly’s, Radio Vanuatu News says.

The Shanghai Construction Group has begun work on the new main wharf for Luganville, Santo. Ships have arrived which will assist in the work and Daily Post reports the group anxious to complete the whole undertaking on time. Shanghai was the company responsible for USP construction work at Emalus, Port Vila.

DPM Carcasses is wanting the VCMB to work closely with farmers to ensure farmers grow what is appropriate for all Vanuatu markets. He appointed a new VCMB board last week at Luganville. Incentives will be needed for copra re-planting, he also pointed out. (VBTC)

DPM Carcasses has lifted his ban on foreign D2 licences for wholesale and retail shops. However, such licences will be required to "bring into Vanuatu an annual income of VT 30 million" a Daily Post story says.