NISCOL resumes operations; Govt audits public service payroll

NISCOL resumes business as normal is the Daily Post headline. The former chairman of the stevedoring company has returned all company property and routine operations resumed Wednesday. Mr Kuvu Noel now has assurances from the company that the large sum of money he is owed will be repaid. A bulk carrier was expected late yesterday and another will be wharfside on Friday.

Radio Vanuatu led their reporting this morning with a Public Service audit and inspection in government ministries and departments to find the correct number of government workmen, “because they have increased significantly.” It is appalling that this is not dealt with continually and that it should need a special audit to find out who is on the payroll. That said, however, there is still the mess in the Teaching Service, with allegedly 200 unpaid for a long time. The check will take from July until September.

AusAID, through the Mama Graon programme, is assisting Vanuatu chiefs to enhance their knowledge to run their land tribunals. Mr Alicta Vuti, co-ordinator of the Customary Land Tribunal, advised Daily Post six provincial officers will soon be recruited to assist the chiefs in the provinces.

In a VBTC radio talkback, the Senior Programme Manager for AusAID, Anna Naupa, explained how the Mama Graon project is a Vanuatu government project and has worked with the Malvatumauri to protect ni-Vanuatu custom land ownership and reduce land disputes. Mama Graon is not a project to make it easier for Australian investors to acquire land in Vanuatu.

Investigations are continuing in the police force over the allegations of mutiny made by The Independent. Acting Police Commissioner Caulton spoke of the seriousness of the allegations. However, section heads in the force all advised they are untrue Radio News reported. But the commissioner would continue to investigate because of the newspaper’s claim.

Two girls, aged 15 and 16 are in police custody because of their sexual relationships with two prison escapees. The police information to VBTC said the age of legal majority and right to consent is 18 and it warned parents to be watchful whilst three high risk prisoners are still at large.

The chairman of Air Vanuatu, and the PM’s DG, Simeon Athy, has asked landowners of the Norsup airfield to do their best to resolve their land dispute so that improvement work can take place. Air Vanuatu needs work to proceed so it can plan to have the ATR-72 land there.

Union of Moderate Parties for Change (UMPC) lawyer, Felix Laumae, has responded to a judgement which goes against two ministers, Charlot Salwai, and Stephen Kalsakau, along with Emiliano Buletari. The court will sit on Tuesday to hear the matter. Another submission will be made on Friday.