Senior management of national broadcaster suspended

VBTC has suspended its General Manager and its Financial Controller. VBTC Chairman Jonety Jerety suspended GM Fred Vurobaravu and FC Roy Mariasua last Friday. Jerety says financial mismanagement is the main reason for the pair’s suspension – VBTC has been operating outside of its budget for some time.The Leader of the Opposition is getting into the act having told Daily Post of a Council of Ministers decision of November 2016 endorsing a VBTC severance and redundancy package. There has been a lot of nakamal type discussion about the future of VBTC and the public has been aware of moves to replace the GM at different times. It now all leaps into prominence. Redundancies at such short notice do need a certain legal notice and the Corporation is seeking legal advice. Staff members are seeking Public Service Commission advice. The Opposition is also concerned that over a thousand people in Vila and Santo are without access to free-to-air TBV news now that television is inextricably linked to a Hong Kong manufacturing company. The GM and FC regard their suspension is illegal and are seeking legal advice.

The Vanuatu Digest says: the Salwai Government has proven its ability to run a coalition with unity at its core. VBTC issues coming into prominence at this time may prove an ultimate test. VBTC Board’s have faced incredible industrial problems in times of previous coalition governments. Let us hope the COM and VBTC GM and staff can avoid strikes such as we have previously seen.

Leading today’s early morning news on Radio Vanuatu was a report tying-in the ambitious National Oceans Summit concerned with a National Oceans Policy and the issue of Matthew and Hunter Islands. The National Oceans Summit was seeking a nakamal basis as a structure for a national oceans policy and VBTC was reporting it as though a Matthew / Hunter solution may be found therein. One wonders. The policy is to be built upon three pillars: “the multi-dimensional value of our ocean; the integration across uses, across boundaries, across sectors, across governance sectors and thirdly, our resilient and intrinsic ocean culture.” To find a Matthew / Hunter solution in all that may be a bit tricky.