Salary rise for all members of Police force; Lapita pottery located on Aneityum

The Minister of Internal Affairs, George Wells, is increasing the salaries of all ranks of the Vanuatu Police Force. Signing for the new salary scales takes place today. However, the size of the increase was not mentioned in the Radio Vanuatu News. Wells says he wants to make the pay rise before he leaves office in order to recognise the importance of the work of the force.

Lapita pottery has been found on Aneityum by the Vanuatu Kaljoral Senta (VKS) ending a 50-year search. Earlier reports of the finding of Lapita there now suggest they were items brought there in more recent times. However, the excavations by Stuart Bedford and Richard Shing and their team down to the level of the original inhabitants of 3,000 years ago prove that Lapita people were living on the island at that time. The tale unravels in this morning’s Daily Post.

Also in the Daily Post today is the news that the Vanua’aku Pati congress is delayed until September 5-6 due to the Parliamentary sitting which will be in progress. The congress will be held at the Malasi Tabu church in Freswota.

Landowners have agreed Norsup airport be upgraded to a standard able to take the ATR-72 aircraft. Prime Minister Sato Kilman says government is securing funding to renovate the airfield following the commitment of the landowners, said VBTC News this morning.

There is a new government department called the Department of Urban Affairs, announced Radio Vanuatu News this morning. The Director of Internal Affairs, Cherol Ala, explained it would be a technical department tasked with the planning and development of Vanuatu’s urban centres. The document establishing the Department has just been signed by the Minister.

The 81 area councils of Vanuatu, first mentioned last week, were outlined by VBTC this morning.

The Fiji Government says the Vanuatu Government is one of the three Melanesian governments with a negative list against Fiji.  Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands are the others. The Fiji Minister of Trade, who is also the Attorney General, says that all produce from MSG countries is untaxed in Fiji, according to VBTC at the weekend. However, as regards Fiji production going to MSG countries there is a negative list. which means Fiji has to pay duties to these countries. He was speaking at a meeting of the Biosecurity Authority of Fiji. Ministers from other Melanesian countries were present.