Results of provincial elections available by Wednesday 29 March

The unofficial provincial election results provide no startling information at this stage — but official results will be available by Wednesday 29 March. Recounting of provincial election votes collected close to Vila (from Efate and Offshore Islands) is currently taking place. For the other provinces, counting continues over the weekend after RVS Tukoro delivered the ballot boxes from the more distant parts. We must all hope the end result is successful for both regionalisation, underscoring the unifying of the communities and islands arbitrarily brought together as provinces 2 decades ago, and that good governance will result.

Much more newsworthy for the people of Vila is news of the Port Vila Urban Development Project. PVUDP and RMS service messages warn motorists and pedestrians of extensive road resurfacing in the CBD this weekend. Adequate policing and notices will be visible everywhere. However, it is also to be understood that the drainage works may well proceed at the same time and as we all have seen there are huge soakage pits located at different points around town. Much work will be done at night. The entire length of Avenue Colardeau is likely to see works for the establishment of existing drainage networks.

Customs and Inland Revenue reminds us that registration of vehicles must be completed by the end of the month. There has been a lot of discussion concerning the particular difficulties and circumstances of the end-March registration date. Delays for certain vehicles until end-June have been mentioned but were not mentioned in VBTC radio news.

PACER Plus is another issue which has been debated in recent times. The deadline for the signing of the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations between Australia, NZ and Pacific island countries is two weeks away. Director of External Trade Sumbe Antas has told Daily Post last Thursday that the Council of Ministers will be making a final decision in two weeks’ time. Best benefits for Vanuatu are seen to be with the RSE and SWP labour programs in the two bigger countries. PACER Plus contains no provisions to help Vanuatu’s people gain work overseas – for this reason, we strongly advise Government not to sign up to PACER Plus.

A World War Two veteran and survivor of the President Coolidge sinking has donated his dog tags to the WWII Museum at Luganville. These are especially welcomed by the Elwood Association responsible for the museum and will draw more US Marines interested in the history of the Coolidge disaster to the northern capital. (Daily Post)

The former Director of the Policy Unit in the State Law Office, Frederick Gilu is now Solicitor General. He replaces Viran Molisa Trief. He will work closely with Government when there are court issues.