Customs Dept requests roadworthiness compliance extension for older vehicles

A public transport bus passes by Port Vila market house. Photo © Vanuatu Digest

The Customs Department is asking for an extension to the payment period for road tax. Since 31 March is currently the legal deadline, the end of June is being requested. Cyclone Pam enabled a similar extension, and Customs being a Government service one would imagine it is all likely to be agreed. This will especially please older Hyundai drivers who in yesterday’s Daily Post were wanting a delay. Many of their older buses still perform on rarely maintained rural roads to bring market produce to the capital. Some of their association members were even proposing a strike recently since many were refused renewal by those policing the roadworthy checks, disqualification often alleged to be because of checks which bore no relation to roadworthiness. But, like all of us, Hyundai buses, especially of the reconditioned kind, can grow too old to work effectively.

Also in the good news department is the imminent handing over of calorimeters to the Agriculture Department Biosecurity laboratory and the Food Technology Centre. Certain exporters of large quantities of kava for export are also purchasing such equipment. Calorimetric testing will be essential for export of kava intended for consumption as a beverage to maintain Vanuatu’s huge lead in export quality noble varieties of kava.

News which failed to reach you yesterday (owing to internet difficulties) covered Air Vanuatu Operations Limited winning a Supreme Court claim made against it by Peter Fogarty for Vt 9 million. Fogarty’s claim was also ruled invalid because the employment contract which gave him his position did not comply with legal requirements.

And yesterday saw news of the custom land owners of the Federesin land, the family Lauru of Ifira turning down Vt 150 million and accepting custom food and mats and accepting only a lease payment for the Federesin Fish Market. The ground-breaking for the fish market was performed by the Deputy PM Joe Natuman directing the movements of a bulldozer. The fish market should open later this year.

We must all be concerned at the reappearance of invasions of the giant African snail which considerably damaged garden produce on Efate back in the 1970s. There have always been some around but the heavy rains seem to be what they love best of all. If you aren’t aware of the strength of the shells of the big ones, find out first with a hammer.