Bauerfield saga continues; new livestock policy; Port Vila Urban Development Project tender approved

Bauerfield

Of course there was yet another attempt to revive the Bauerfield Rehabilitation project as recently as last year. Yesterday I mentioned the 2011 efforts and the granting of Australian aid for the purpose arranged by the DG of MIPU. But of course in March last year when the Ausaid offer had lapsed because politicians kept changing the requirements, the World Bank was brought in. All ministries were in agreement, for the Vanuatu Aviation Investment Programme to be funded by the World Bank. $60 million of funding was secured. However, the Natuman Government, which had come to power with 33 votes of the 52 members, was thrown aside by the Kilman Government which then, in the midst of the bribery scandal, had decided that a Chinese contractor should undertake the work and it would be funded by the Chinese EXIM Bank. The debt was massively doubled by the Kilman Government decision. Thus do politicians look to interests other than the national ones and make problems for later governments. Daily Post highlights the complete airport rehabilitation story of failure today.

Daily Post and Radio Vanuatu both extensively cover the outgoing caretaker government’s launch of what is claimed to be the “first ever” livestock policy. Present Caretaker Minister Emelee recognized the efforts of his predecessor, David Tosul, in getting the policy going and expressed his confidence in the plan, so it does not seem to be a campaign strategy for the government we are to see next week. Livestock is important to the economy and could raise more export earnings.

RMS Engineering and Construction Limited of Australia has arrived in the capital to work on the Port Vila Urban Development Project. It was selected from amongst nine companies applying. The work will proceed when environment management approval has been given by the Environment Department. (Radio Vanuatu)

Radio Vanuatu lunchtime news is pointing out the need for schools requiring classroom additions or repairs to obtain ministry approval before the work begins. DG Jesse Dick points out that this is essential to ensure buildings reach cyclone-proof standards.

Solomon Airlines has decided to continue flights through Bauerfield with their Airbus services at the weekend.


One Comment on “Bauerfield saga continues; new livestock policy; Port Vila Urban Development Project tender approved”

  1. Desmond Ross says:

    The airport saga is all Deja Vu. 1998 and 1999 were exactly the same as now. The runway was breaking up, airlines cancelled flights to Vila and the European Investment Bank stepped in with substantial soft loan funding, supplemented by the French AFD and AusAid. We corporatised the airports and AVL started operations on 1st Jan 2000. Then the funds were made available to the new corporation and work commenced on the runway, taxiway and terminal upgrade. When it was completed in 2002 the regional airlines returned and new services were commenced by Pacific Blue, Air Pacific, et al. Traffic grew around 20% in the first year of Pacific Blue operations.
    The runway works were never intended to last more than 12 years before another upgrade would be done, or a decision would be made on a new airport site. None of this has happened and proper maintenance was never done on the current runway. So, everything is back to square one.
    I sincerely hope that the new goverment will prioritise the airport issues now to ensure that tourism will continue to thrive and, therefore, boost the national economy of Vanuatu.
    Lukim Yu
    Des Ross

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