Vanuatu daily news digest | 30 September 2014

The MKM nickel company from New Caledonia and Jin-Pei, their Chinese partners, are being required to comply with all relevant environment laws and meet the requirements of the Vanuatu Investment Promotion Authority (VIPA). A feasibility study will be needed and MKM will have to lodge an application through VIPA even though they have had some kind of agreement already from local authorities in Santo. A paper will also need to be prepared for the Council of Ministers. The Prime Minister’s Press Secretary, Kiery Manassah advised the media late yesterday that all responsible authorities are being asked to ensure they are well versed with such projects and the associated risks in order for the government to make an informed decision.

Daily Post today draws attention to the damage nickel smelting would bring to the Santo environment, and reports unfavourable comment from Santo leaders and people who have lived in New Caledonia. Daily Post also brings Russian and Canadian examples of environmental waste as a result of nickel smelting.

Hints in Post yesterday of an impending motion of no confidence were denied by Opposition Whip Willie Jimmy in today’s paper.

And today Post says a foreign Public Prosecutor will be brought in to prosecute the former Police Commissioner Joshua Bong. "Sensitivity" in this case is said to be the reason for suspension of current Commissioner Caulton.

Velit Bay Plantation Resort has seen two expatriates involved in a severe dispute and possible criminal offences committed, and the police are investigating.


One Comment on “Vanuatu daily news digest | 30 September 2014”

  1. Sue Farran says:

    Good to see that a proper environmental impact assessment is being made. Lessons from other similar projects in the region should be considered, including social impact. One reason why the company may be keen to relocate their operation is the tightening up of environmental protection and more stringent national policy in New Caledonia. Let’s hope Vanuatu isn’t seen as a walkover option.

    Dr Sue Farran Professor of Laws

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