Decentralisation to see Vt 20M budget for each Area Council, says MP Williams; Air Vanuatu passes IATA Operational Safety Audit

Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change, Hon. Albert Williams MP. Photo: SPREP

Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change, Hon. Albert Williams MP. Photo: SPREP

The big news at lunchtime today with the national broadcaster is the Salwai Government to make payments directly to area councils to improve the administration of rural affairs, starting next year. The Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change, Albert Williams, revealed the government plan to the people of Penama Province at Bwatnapne last weekend. “Each area council in each province will receive twenty million vatu”, he pointed out. “If there are two area councils on Maewo, they will each receive Vt 20 million for a total of Vt 40 million for the island”, he said. Government hopes to double the amount the following year. “In future the money for rural matters will no longer remain in Lakatoro, Saratamata or Sola, but go direct to the area councils”, said Williams, to applause. MP Williams says the Prime Minister and his Government see this move as important for decentralisation. (Radio Vanuatu)

Air Vanuatu has completed the first stage of its IOSA registration with a successful audit conducted by the International Air Transport Association (IATA)-approved audit company ACS Ltd. An IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) is the internationally recognised evaluation system that assesses the operational management and control systems of an airline. Air Vanuatu says the preliminary results are outstanding with no systemic issues identified within Air Vanuatu. “We are delighted with the results to date and are confident we will regain our IOSA registration”, CEO Joseph Laloyer announced. “We made a commitment to our shareholders to regain our IOSA certificate as part of the airline’s restructure announced earlier this year”, he added. Air Vanuatu now has a new General Manager (Operations), Patrick Byrne, and Laloyer paid a tribute to the commitment of the airline’s staff.

In other aviation news, Norsup Airport land is now public land after the payment to the Custom Land Owners Trust Account of over Vt 38 million by the Vanuatu Government. This enables Government to proceed with development of the airport, most especially with upgrading, long delayed because of land ownership disputes. (Daily Post)

The Prime Minister is presently in Luganville for the anniversary of the Collège de Luganville. He was accompanied by a delegation of former students, many in leadership positions today. Also present is the 1971 principal, Jean Gustave, 90. He served the school between 1971 and 1979.