Big to-do list for first Ordinary Session of Parliament today

Vanuatu Parliament

The First Ordinary Session of Parliament gets underway today and will table Vanuatu’s Right to Information Act as well as this year’s Supplementary Budget. In addition, there are Amendment Bills relating to international tax co-operation, citizenship, stamp duties, the Utilities Regulatory Authority, commercial government enterprise, international companies, and land leases. The Paris Agreement on Climate Change will be ratified and there will be a Bill for Statute Law. The Ordinary Sitting is supposed to be completed for the annual recess by 20 June, but Standing Orders may be suspended, and in this time frame there is also the adjourned sitting from last Thursday dealing with Constitutional change. However, the Opposition Bloc is seeking a legal opinion on the legality of the special sitting proceeding as Parliament remains in session. The Right to Information Act was foreseen under a previous government when a policy paper was prepared. It is entirely in conformity with the policies of the Salwai Government and will be welcomed by all, especially the media, now that there is a government committed to extending the reach of information.