Ambae MP purchases ship for community; National Library and Archives tender awarded

Radio News began today reporting a new ship purchased by the West Ambae community and Ambae MP Peter Vuta to better look after their transport needs. The MP says West Ambae has been badly served by shipping until now, with perishables rotting and promises of delivery dates not being maintained. The ship under the command of Captain Nixon Garae was recently in Luganville and has visited Ambae. It hopes to commence operations as soon as it obtains the necessary safety equipment and certificate of sea-worthiness this week.

The Fletcher Company has won the contract for the AusAID-funded National Library and Archive project of the Vanuatu Government. The total cost is Vt 232 million and will take two years to complete. Construction should begin soon, Post says. The Council of Ministers approved the Tenders Board recommendation.

An environment network team has been formed by six communities on Epi. VanuaTai resource management of Wan Smol Bag has assisted them with conservation training for both land- and sea-based produce. Radio News said one of their first tasks will be cleaning their own beaches and reefs of plastic refuse. A similar environment project is underway around North Efate and will be reported this week.

The Appeal Court will focus on the ministerial land valuation of the public beach at Kawenu when it meets today. This is the land which by-passed the negotiator certificate and Land Management Planning Committee when the title was personally issued by former Lands Minister Iauko Harry.

Radio and Daily Post both reported the recapture of escaped prisoner Paul Shem at a Tagabe nakamal. He was admitted to Vila Central Hospital, “directly in connection to his recapture,” but no further information was given concerning his condition. The radio alleges Shem was accompanied in his bush hideout by three young girls who are also now in police custody along with two other associates.

Daily Post also reported another illegal alien, without visa, this time from Colombia, South America, and reiterated the need for a detention centre at the airport. That person is not detained anywhere and at large on Efate.

Prime Minister Kilman has been re-elected as president of the People’s Progressive Party. Other executives of the party are to be retained owing to the proximity of the national elections. However, the next congress will take place immediately after the elections.