Vanuatu daily news digest | 14 January 2015

Fuel prices fall everywhere except in Vanuatu was Daily Post’s noteworthy headline today. Petrol prices are falling in nearby countries (especially Australia and Fiji) points out Ricky Binihi in his cover article. In Australia the price for unleaded petrol fell to a four-year low. Fiji announced a drop in oil prices just before Christmas. Most importantly, however, the price of crude oil (which determines the various petroleum product base prices) has dropped significantly throughout the world. New Zealand had its twentieth consecutive price drop in October. But in Vanuatu the price remains the same. Daily Post tried to have meaningful contact with Pacific Petroleum in the matter, but those concerned are away on leave. Never-the-less persons close to the industry say they expect fuel prices to drop at the end of the month. The reply of Pacific Petroleum will be eagerly awaited by motorists.

Today’s Post also carries an article on the transmission difficulties being experienced by national and leading broadcasters in the region, their technology becoming antiquated. Even when new technology was supplied as, here, by Australia and Britain – more particularly Radio Australia and the BBC – it will pass its optimal working life span and then the operating broadcasting organisation needs to update. As previously stated in this Digest, people at North Efate have been disappointed by Radio Vanuatu’s inability to maintain round-the-clock maintenance of the medium wave transmission, especially now it is the cyclone season. They all left short wave reception behind decades ago. VBTC has fortunately shown it is trying to get its house in order. However, the Daily Post story suggests an ongoing refusal to accept any reduction in radio coverage if this means compromise with digital for television… And just about everyone wants the Radio Australia and BBC radio channels back where they were. What the VBTC Board might say in this regard will be eagerly awaited by listeners.