Vanuatu daily news digest | 5 January 2015

The real and main news today was the Government PRO Kiery Manassah speaking of the issues facing VBTC, one main one being coverage For example, his address, following morning news, was only heard on shortwave and FM, medium wave unavailable presently even though it is the cyclone season. Staffing Manassah also saw as critical. "There are too many staff members and there is a need for re-structuring. A review has been undertaken," said the press professional in the Prime Minister’s Office. "It should become effective this year." He added that a task force would be mandated in 2015 to look into the dual functions of the VBTC – license issue and regulation of the broadcasting industry. The task force will also look at digital TV as well as radio transmission methods said the PRO. The position of General Manager should be decided in the very near future and demonstrate the government’s intention to appoint someone with real leadership capability Manassah said.

The Vanuatu Government is strengthening land lease issue requirements. Minister Regenvanu said the government is determined that people being awarded leases which are for a particular purpose carry out their intention according to an agreed time schedule and over the full acreage leased to them. Many rural lessees have waited for extremely long periods before fulfilling their stated objectives, Regenvanu told VBTC News today, and many have not completed their obligations.

The Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Daily Post today reports the closure of the highly successful Pacific Growth and Employment Project. This has brought together the Australian Chambers of Commerce, Australian trade unions (ACTU) and the ILO in promoting sustainable employment and decent work in the Asia – Pacific Region. PNG and Vanuatu are said to have benefited the most. Training in leadership and hospitality matters was rated highly in Vanuatu.

The Presbyterian Church (PCV) wants to take back responsibility and management for many clinics they previously operated. They have said they want more involvement in policies. The PCV Clerk, Alan Nafuki, told VBTC News discussion with government had already started.

Thieves stole 7 cattle from the Walter Furet yards and Vanuatu Livestock Development behind the Agriculture Station at Tagabe before Christmas, Daily Post reports today. It also reports packages of 2 kg of imported chicken wings largely selling out during the holiday season.

Food and climate change adaptation are being closely studied by food scientist Antoine Ravou, reported VBTC News, in order to find varieties of especially root crops which can survive in different extreme conditions. The department is trialing different crops in various island situations.

Correction … The Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Commerce has advised the correct figure for the EIF contribution to the Port Vila seawall reconstruction project following various media mistakes and incorrect assumptions. The EIF of the World Trade Organization will be contributing 315 million vatu.

Late news … this morning has the Prime Minister urging fishermen of the Fishermen’s Association (VFA) to unite in their case to government over whether they will agree to a government goodwill payment or remain determined to have their full log of claims subject to judicial proceedings even though unlikely to succeed, lacking legal backing. Full news will be given tomorrow.