Vanuatu Daily News Digest | 3 October 2015

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is unable to function owing to the Government side delaying in the appointment of its officials, reports today’s Daily Post. For the Opposition on the PAC, MP Ralph Regenvanu says the Opposition side is aware of the massive haemorrhaging of public funds that is occurring now as various boards are unlawfully terminated and replaced and then staff members unlawfully terminated and replaced (e.g., Vanuatu National Cultural Council and now Airports Vanuatu Limited, NISCOL and VNPF); as numerous new vehicles are being bought by various ministries, departments and SOEs; and as the Speaker of Parliament treats his office like a personal enjoyment fund," the Opposition spokesman said. He added that the Prime Minister was effectively muzzling any investigation by failing to appoint his representatives to the PAC.

In the same paper the PMO says it is appalled at the Opposition’s tactics to divide the Government and stressed that the PM needed to be in New York to address the UN General Assembly on Climate Change, sea level rise and the impacts of El Nino. (Daily Post)

An Agri-Services Promotion and Regulation Authority will replace the Vanuatu Commodities Marketing Board. The VCMB Act was repealed in 2009. The only Vanuatu prescribed commodities are coconuts, cocoa and kava and the Chamber of Commerce (VCCI) is wanting better consultation and control of these and other sectors which have so far been dealt with on a piece-meal basis. A consultation was arranged at the VCCI this week and another will be held at Santo. (Daily Post)

The Forestry Minister and Mayor of Port Vila are spear-heading a campaign to have sandalwood planted in public green spaces. The project was started last year with the late MP Edward Nipake Natapei. This week has seen the area near the netball court so planted. (Radio Vanuatu)

Large families from Whitesands, Tanna, are hoping to have some of their children evacuated to the capital and even live here for some time as a move to combat the drought conditions. (Independent)

Minister Tony Nari allegedly explains the termination of the CEO to Airports Vanuatu in the Independent as "whenever the government changes, there are new share-holders," and the former CEO did not recognise the new Board.