Runway renovations end Monday; Bribery MPs lose appeal, ineligible for 10 years; free seeds

A bonus after Cyclone Pam and this year's El Niño: free seeds to be given out next week in Port Vila. Photo: FAO

A boon for food security after Cyclone Pam and this year’s El Niño: free seeds to be given out next week in Port Vila. Photo: FAO

The contractors on the Bauerfield runways renovation, Fulton Hogan, are confident their tasks will be completed on Monday. They have been finishing off their last tasks sealing minor cracks and marking lines. Airports Vanuatu (AVL) is pleased with the works carried out, saying there was a level of commitment from all concerned, especially the operators such as the airlines. The government is now deciding on what will be required for the full rehabilitation which is the next step under the World Bank loan.

Daily Post carries the first judgements from the Appeal Court, given late yesterday, in its weekend issue. Willie Jimmy and Silas Yatan remain ineligible to hold public office for ten years along with the others convicted of bribery at that time. That they were no longer leaders when convicted was not seen to be relevant by the court.

Radio Vanuatu News has today announced that the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) will be giving out free vegetable seeds for townspeople and those living nearby this coming week as part of a national disaster risk reduction and food security program. Sweet corn, Chinese cabbage, lettuce, tomato and many other food seeds will be available now that we are receiving rains again after cyclone Pam and the long extremely dry spell. There is a chance for people to plant gardens again. The free seeds are available from 9am at the following locations:

  • Anabrou Samblong Road Market – Monday 18th April / Wednesday 20th April
  • Millennium Park, Seaside Paama – Monday 18th April / Wednesday 20th April
  • Farea Sosori, Mele Market House – Monday 18th April / Wednesday 20th April
  • Au Bon Marche Manples Market – Tuesday 19th April / Thursday 21st April
  • Freshwater Market House, Mautoa Park – Tuesday 19th April / Thursday 21st April
  • Erakor Unity Stage, Presbyterian Church – Tuesday 19th April / Thursday 21st April

The Appeal Court dismissed the case brought by MPs Ham Lini, Joe Natuman and others who were in Opposition at the time, challenging the Head of State’s dissolution of that Parliament. “As there is no live issue identified it is inappropriate for the appeal to continue and accordingly the appeal is dismissed,” the Appeal Court ruled.

The Israeli national Eilon Mass has won his appeal in a case concerning inciting and soliciting theft of machinery from Velit Bay. Other cases involving Mass are to be dealt with separately. He remains remanded in custody on another charge.

This weekend’s Daily Post brings a double spread outlining how the wharf traffic will be managed come cruise ship days. Where there are to be boom gates, and who might go where, is made clear. And how it all fits in with adjacent Lapetasi wharf.

The Daily Post also raises the serious issues concerning the Sino-Van fishery at Blacksands, Port Vila, and it urges a further EIA in view of the long passage of time since the factory was built.

Malapoa students have been seen in a big effort to clean-up Port Vila. It is a ‘clean-a-thon’ intended to help raise funds for the school’s golden jubilee this year. In addition, according to Principal Shem Simon, the activity enables the students to practise the “values associated with community work, organisation and personal conduct in public.” Cash donations are much appreciated.