Nurses to get pay rise under new Ministry of Health salary structure

Vila Central Hospital: pregnant women forced to sleep on the floor in maternity ward

The Health Ministry is getting appointments right with some 292 nurses being transferred to the new structure and on higher pay from tomorrow. Another 101 nurses will receive an increase shortly. There were plans for strike action at Vila Central Hospital recently, but they came to nought. And as of Tuesday this week, nurse transfers  have been completed. More senior staff—the doctors and specialists —are now being moved to the new schedules. And, what’s more, it is all being effected in the island services, too: Torba, Penama, Sanma, Northern Provincial Hospital, Malampa and Tafea.

If only Vanuatu Broadcasting Corporation could have Read the rest of this entry »

Apply now: 2018 Queen’s Young Leaders’ Award now open

Queen Elizabeth greets Mary Siro at last Thursday's ceremony at Buckingham Palace, London. Photo: BCA

This could be you: Queen Elizabeth greets 2016 Ni-Vanuatu Queen’s Young Leaders’ Award winner Mary Siro at Buckingham Palace, London, 23 June 2016. Photo: BCA

Applications for the Queen’s Young Leaders’ Award of 2018 are now open. The Queen’s Young Leaders’ Awards recognise and celebrate exceptional people aged 18-29 from across the Commonwealth, who are taking the lead in their communities and using their skills to transform lives.

Mary Siro of Wan Smolbag is a past winner of the Queen’s Young Leaders’ Award – could the next winner be you?

Winners of this prestigious Award will receive Read the rest of this entry »

Vanuatu’s share of airspace revenue increases — but Fiji still retains 93%

Pacific region Flight Information Regions (FIRs)

Pacific region Flight Information Regions (FIRs)

Vanuatu’s share of the upper airspace revenue has increased following the renegotiation of the Nadi Flight Information Region (FIR) revenue sharing agreement with Fiji. Joseph Niel, Director of the Civil Aviation Authority Vanuatu, paints the new agreement as a Vt50 million win for Vanuatu in Daily Post. The Nadi FIR includes the airspace of Vanuatu, part of Kiribati, Tuvalu, New Caledonia, but Fiji gets the lion’s share of revenue, up to 93% – while Vanuatu gets just 2.5%. Renegotiation of the agreement, long a thorn in the side of the Vanuatu Government, had been a priority. However, questions remain about why the revenue sharing calculation still gives Fiji such a large share when similar FIR revenue sharing agreements for nearby FIRs are seemingly far more equitable. For example, the Brisbane FIR, which covers the airspace of Solomon Islands and Nauru, gives 60% of revenue to the two island nations.

The name of the new High Commissioner to Vanuatu from New Zealand Read the rest of this entry »

Visa-free travel between Vanuatu and South Korea a boost for tourism

South Korea flag

The Vanuatu and South Korea governments are planning a simplified, visa-free entry procedure for visitors from one country to the other. The Prime Minister and Speaker of Parliament have been in the Philippines for the meeting that marks 50 years of ASEAN, which has been widely covered by world media.

Reserve Bank Governor Simeon Athy has drawn attention to the importance of the new Read the rest of this entry »

Vanuatu rolls out Right to Information legislation throughout Govt agencies

right to information vanuatu

The order enacting Vanuatu’s Right To Information legislation was signed yesterday morning by Deputy Prime Minister Joe Natuman. The signing names the first government agencies to be involved. Seven are going into the first implementation: Customs, Agriculture, Forestry, Livestock, Tourism and the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer. The Prime Minister has signed the appointment letters of the Steering Committee members. As well as Government representatives there are private sector members. The RTI Act was passed a year ago.

Police are holding a man who stabbed to death his partner on Read the rest of this entry »

Tax expert to Vanuatu Govt: don’t repeat the mistakes of the 1990s

tax Vanuatu

A story familiar to many here in Vanuatu and especially those concerned in Finance in government: Nik Soni, who worked with governments here that long ago, after a well developed advisory time in other developing countries, had much to say about Vanuatu’s yet-to-be-unveiled tax plan on Coffee & Controversy on Buzz 96 FM on Tuesday. Not repeating the mistakes of the 1990 is surely the clearest signal of where we are likely to go wrong. But before getting on to the worst early wrongdoings of the late 1990s, Soni was full of praise for the 2017 Government making so much more of public consultation. Too right.

The nitty-gritty of where Vanuatu started going wrong in the 1990s, according to Nik Soni is the balance between Read the rest of this entry »

Study aims to reveal sources of plastic waste on Efate’s coastline

USP students from Port Vila's Emalus campus conduct a transect of Eton Beach, Efate looking for plastic waste. Photo: SPREP

USP students from Port Vila’s Emalus campus conduct a transect of Eton Beach, Efate looking for plastic waste. Photo: SPREP

Following on from yesterday’s item that the Salwai Government is planning to ban the import of plastic bottles and bags, comes this welcome news: USP students from Port Vila’s Emalus campus are engaged in a study of the micro and macro plastic waste found on Efate’s Eton Beach. The UK’s Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) is leading the research in partnership with the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and USP. USP’s Bachelor of Science students majoring in chemistry and biology are being trained at Eton Beach in the correct sampling and collecting methodology for studying marine plastic waste. The study aims to determine whether the waste is of local or foreign origin, and to study the ‘plastic life cycle’. International marine waste expert Dr Thomas Maes of CEFAS emphasises how fish consume plastic waste in the oceans, and that we need to make every effort to remove plastic waste from their diet, or it joins Read the rest of this entry »