Vanuatu daily news digest | 15 October 2014

The Maewo Island Council of Chiefs has asked the Government concerning the 165 mineral prospecting licences granted for the waters of Vanuatu, whether in the absence of significant surveillance the government can be certain what the prospectors are actually doing. Their Chairman raised the question at the Deep Sea Mining Conference last week, Radio Vanuatu News reported. The Commissioner of Mines, Tony Tevi, responded that chiefs of areas concerned were always approached in the first instance by his staff for permission for such mining before the minister signed the licence. Tevi said the company is required to inform government of the extent of the mineral deposit sought. The company is then advised of the permitted extraction.

Pacnews has reported the Kiribati Government shocking the fishing world by revealing that without warning it has forced most of the American tuna fleet out of its waters and is letting Chinese and Taiwanese vessels take over. The move is seen as a threat to the viability of the New Zealand tuna fishing operations as the Americans will be forced into crowded alternative fishing grounds. The United States had agreed to pay 90 million USD to member states of the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) for US flagged purse seine fishing vessels for 8,300 catch days in the region.

The Second Youth Symposium presently underway is expected to inform participants concerning climate change. The government and private sector are instructing the youth delegates from all islands in relation to climate change and adaption of activities to mitigate the worst effects of climate change. Radio Vanuatu News tells us.

The Chinese community has donated generously to flood victims of the Prima and Teouma River Bridge areas. Post shows large quantities of rice and other daily requirements, after a letter was received from Port Vila MP Jean-Yves Chabod. Chinese Community Association President, Jean-Baptiste Leong, made the handover of the VT 300,000 worth of goods.

Daily Post headlines today with MP Robert Bohn saying he and his business associate, Tom Bayer, confirm they have funded political parties, but he dismissed claims they assisted in funding motions of no confidence. Bayer and Bohn are naturalized citizens.

Post also highlights the cervical cancer screening unit temporarily closed until one or two expatriate volunteers are in place.

The Daily Post Customs and Inland Revenue page helpfully indicates how "zero rated" for VAT can be applied with approved aid projects.