New hydrographic maps produced of three Tanna harbours

File photo of Lenakel wharf, Tanna. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons/PhillipC

File photo of Lenakel wharf, Tanna. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons/PhillipC

New hydrographic survey maps of three harbours on Tanna have been completed. They have been done, Radio Vanuatu said, because of the tourist potential of the areas concerned. Lowanatom in the west and Waisisi and Sulphur Bay in the east are the ports. The British Government has funded the survey work, and British High Commissioner David Ward (based in Honiara) said safety in the sea, protection of the marine environment and national development will be enhanced through the availability of the survey. George Borugu, as acting director for tourism, spoke of the huge potential for cruise tourism to these Tannese ports. (VBTC)

The bodies of three ni-Vanuatu seasonal workers who died in a road accident in Queensland on the weekend will be returned to Vanuatu as soon as possible after all official inquiries have been completed, Radio Vanuatu News reports. The Labour Department has confirmed two other seasonal workers were in the minibus together with the three who died but the two have been discharged from hospital. The accident occurred early Saturday morning after the van collided with a semi-trailer in a head-on accident.

Arep Junior Secondary School in the Banks now carries the name of the late President Baldwin Lonsdale. Baldwin Lonsdale Memorial College was announced on Friday by the Minister for Home Affairs in remembrance of the well-respected former leader. Last provincial rites for the Head of State were carried out at the Torba Headquarters. The period of national mourning officially ends today.

The Presidential Electoral College will choose the new President on 3 July. The last day for candidacy applications is Wednesday and on 30 June the Electoral Office will announce the names of candidates. Travel arrangements for college members are being given out via Radio Vanuatu service messages.

The formerly public land in Port Vila known as ‘Depot’ will cost Vt 2 billion to repurchase for the Port Vila Urban Development Project (PVUDP). The site, below the Public Works Ministry and opposite Hibiscus Motel, formerly held a building used as a sanctuary for mentally disturbed people. Former Lands Minister Steven Kalsakau sold the land to a member of his family and another individual for Vt 1.2 million 5 years ago. It has since changed hands. To re-acquire the land the government must now pay over Vt 2 billion in purchase payment and compensation for works which have taken place at the site to businessman Ming Kai Zheng, the current leaseholder. The site is needed for the PVUDP where a traffic interchange facility for drop-off and pick-up passengers switching routes is planned. Lands Minister Regenvanu gave details of the acquisition requirement in Parliament when an amendment to the Lands Acquisition Act was recently being debated. Changes to the Act now mean ministers will no longer be able to sell public lands. Full Council of Ministers approval will be needed with every such lease change from now on.

Ongoing monitoring and maintenance works at Bauerfield have now enabled Australian airport authorities to remove their travel advice against Bauerfield. On 19 June Bauerfield had to receive both Qantas and Air New Zealand planes when Tontouta was unavailable. Airports Vanuatu Limited (AVL) has been working closely with engineers and airlines to ensure the airport remains functional.