Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 850

MELANESIA:

1) MSG embassies site in Muanikau
By Online Editor
4:00 pm GMT+12, 20/08/2013, Fiji

The Fiji Government has identified the site for the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) members’ embassies.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola said the land in Muanikau was given by the Fijian Government to Vanuatu, Solomons and Papua New Guinea to build their chanceries and residences.

Work at the site in Nasese is expected to begin soon.

An expression of interest advertisement has been put out in newspapers for experienced engineers and contractors to do the scope of works at the site. This includes the removal of unwanted materials, and levelling and filling of the site.

Fiji has been leading the way in forging a strong Melanesian bond for greater economic development and technical co-operation in small Pacific island states.

Recently Fiji announced it would host a secretariat for the new regional structure that it had forged with its island neighbours, the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF).

The landmark announcement was made by the Prime Minister, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, at the end of the inaugural PIDF Summit in Denarau earlier this month.

The PIDF stemmed from the ‘Engaging With the Pacific’ meeting which was hosted by Fiji, following an agreement with its Melanesian counterparts.

SOURCE: FIJI SUN/PACNEWS

2) West Papua stopped
By Online Editor
1:48 pm GMT+12, 20/08/2013, Papua New Guinea

Police in the Western Province are on alert, not to allow any event to mark the proposed independence of the West Papua people of Indonesia.

Provincial Police Commander Silver Sika told NBC News, the police headquarters in Port Moresby has been alerted of a proposed celebration to mark the landing of convoy of ships from Cairns Australia, carrying West Papuan people and rights activists, who are planning to sail to PNG and onto the Indonesian town of Merauke.

The Freedom Flotilla has been months of planning and travelling from Melbourne all the way to Cairns where hundreds of West Papuan people, activists, and sympathizers hope to push the issue of West Papuan independence from Indonesia, and human rights abuse by Indonesian forces.

But Sika says, given PNG’s relationship with Indonesia, Police in the province, will not allow the raising of the West Papuan flag, to mark its proposed independence.

The event to mark the West Papuan ceremony is planned for the 19th of this month.
SOURCE: NBC NEWS/PACNEWS

3) PNG MPs Urged To Account For School Survey Money
Millions reportedly going towards ‘ghost schools’

By Isaac Nicholas

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, August 19, 2013) – Only two electorates have accounted for the K8.9 million [US$3.7 million] allocated in this year’s budget for the conduct of school survey exercises in the 89 districts of Papua New Guinea.

Chairman of the national education school survey task force, Mr. Paru Aihi, has now called on all the 89 MP’s to account for the K100,000 [US$41,500] per district funding by presenting their survey results for planning purposes by the Department of Education.

Mr. Aihi made the call on Friday when receiving the completed school survey from the Ambunti-Drekikir electorate in East Sepik province from ousted MP Tony Aimo, district administrator Otto Ganai and provincial education planner Don Melam.

Ambunti-Drekikir and Kairiku-Hiri are the two electorates that have completed the school survey and interestingly the two MPs managed the get the survey completed before they were ousted by the Courts of Disputed Returns.

“This will be the first official presentation of the education survey report. Most members of Parliament who have received K100,000 have not delivered. They have picked up the K100,000 and we expect them to deliver,” Mr. Aihi said.

He said the Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, has announced that the government will introduce compulsory education by 2014-2015 and it was important that school data was collected and planning done to avoid problems in the future.

The national education school survey was aimed at ensuring that provincial and district officials physically visited all the schools in a province to get the exact number of teachers, children and the education infrastructure on the ground.

Mr. Aihi said from the survey report coming in from the two electorates so far, it was frightening to find that millions of kina for free education had been going to “ghost schools.”

He said there are people out there who fill up education forms every year and money from millions of kina from government ends up in their pockets while teachers and children suffer in some of the remote areas of the country.

East Sepik provincial education planner Mr. Melam who led the survey in Ambunti-Drekikir said it was a sad state of affairs for some schools in the very remote areas of the electorate.

He gave some examples of a teacher’s house that is lighted up every night with solar power, and no classrooms or teachers at a particular school.

Mr. Melam said the education survey team came across schools that were non-existent, but were still receiving the tuition fee free subsidies.

PNG Post-Courier: http://www.postcourier.com.pg/

4) ‘Failed Elections’ In PNG’s Western Highlands Challenged
Local official never advised commissioner to declare failure

By James Apa Gumuno and Elias Lari

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, August 19, 2013) – Western Highlands election manager Philip Telape says he did not advise Papua New Guinea Electoral Commissioner Andrew Trawen to declare failed local level government (LLG) elections in the province.

Telape said this after Trawen declared failed elections in Hagen Urban, Hagen Rural, Mul, Kotna and Muglamp.

Trawen last week declared failed elections in 19 LLGs in Enga, Jiwaka, Southern Highlands and Eastern Highlands because of violence and illegal practices during polling.

Telape, during a media conference in Hagen last Friday with his provincial election steering committee, said the election in the province was conducted peacefully except for few rural areas where there were some minor disturbances.

But boxes were safely returned for counting. He said counting progressed smoothly in all districts and majority of the ward councilors were declared. Baiyer LLG was the first to declare its president Paraka Nii.

He said Nebilyer, Mt. Giluwe and Hagen Urban were going through the elimination process.

Telape said Trawen must have based his decision on outside sources.

Telape said he would send his report after all declarations were done and after the return of writs. But he said he respected Trawen’s decision because he had the power to do that.

Meanwhile, candidates vying for the president’s seat in Mt. Hagen have condemned Trawen’s decision.

There are 11 candidates contesting the Mt. Hagen rural president’s seat. The candidates are Jacob Kop, Luke Mathew, Opa Brass Wak, Collin Poiya, John Orake, William Maki, John Kama and David Terry.

They want Prime Minister Peter O’Neill to sideline Trawen and have someone else run the election until the return of writs.

Kop urged Trawen to explain his decision because Hagen Rural had only 11 boxes left for counting before going into the elimination process.

Orake said if Trawen did not consult and get advice from his officers on the ground, then he should be sidelined.

Wak said counting should continue because Trawen’s decision was baseless.

In Jiwaka, South-Wahgi president candidate Jim Kuk said there were costs involved and called on Trawen to reverse his decision.

The National: www.thenational.com.pg/

5) Owner of PNG’s doomed Rabaul Queen ferry charged

Posted at 08:32 on 20 August, 2013 UTC

The owner of the Rabaul Queen ferry which sank and killed more than 140 people off Papua New Guinea’s Morobe coast in early 2012 has been charged with 162 counts of manslaughter.

Peter Sharp was arrested by police in Kokopo today before charges were laid, including for criminal negligence and taking an unseaworthy ship to sea.

A commission of inquiry nearly a year ago found the ferry was unseaworthy, overloaded and should not have been sailing.

It said Peter Sharp showed gross disrespect by having passengers travel in inhumane conditions.

Police media spokesman Inspector David Terry says the police investigations took as long as they did because they needed to be meticulous and extensive.

“Statements were collected from witnesses in Rabaul, the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Lae, Madang and Goroka. Mr Sharp was today taken to the police station in Kokopo where he was formally charged, and he’s now in police custody.”

David Terry says Peter Sharp is due to appear in court tomorrow when his lawyers are expected to apply for bail.

Radio New Zealand International

6) Solomon Islands PM Lilo Defends Recent Trips Overseas
Lilo says visits to Indonesia, Australia ‘of national interest’

By Elliot Dawea

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, August 20, 2013) – Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo has rebutted Opposition’s criticism that his trip is not of national interest and waste of tax payers’ money.

Defending his recent trip upon arrival yesterday the PM said the trip was of national interest because there were important engagements with the government of Indonesia and Australia.

Speaking to the local media PM Lilo said the Opposition was barking up the wrong tree because Indonesia needs us to explore other areas of economic and political development.

When asked by this paper to comment about the Opposition labeling the trip as a waste of tax payers’ money; he said the Opposition always have its own judgment.

“Let me assure to this nation that this trip has a lot of significant benefit to this country particularly with our engagement on possibility to learn more about their economic growth through their business sector.

“As such it is a historic visit to Indonesia as well to re-establish ties with them, which would also open the door for Solomon Islands into the ASEAN market; in which Indonesia has offered to help Solomon Islands facilitate their trade programs to penetrate the Asian market.”

Prime Minister Lilo also highlighted the importance of skilled human resources and capacity building as part of development efforts towards improved bilateral relations.

“The most important thing is that we must focus on regional connectivity, poverty alleviation and improved welfare.”

Prime Minster Lilo said the President Yudhoyono was impressed with the visit because it would strengthen bilateral cooperation and partnership between the two countries.

Solomon Star

7) Canberra apologises to Solomon Islands PM

By Online Editor
1:56 pm GMT+12, 20/08/2013, Solomon Islands

The Australian Government has apologised for the unfortunate action taken by the Australian immigration officers against Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo to undergo an explosive body search over the weekend.

Australian High Commissioner to Solomon Islands Matt Anderson expressed his government’s regret to Prime Minister Lilo following the incident which was conducted at the Brisbane airport when PM and his delegation arrived from Indonesia Saturday Morning to attend the Black Birding anniversary celebration at Bundaberg.

Anderson on Monday in response expressed regret for any embarrassment or inconvenience this incident may have caused to Prime Minister Lilo and his delegation during the aviation security screening at Brisbane Airport on Saturday morning.

He said Solomon Islands Prime Minister Lilo should have been exempted from the random explosive trace detection test.

“We are working with relevant Australian Government agencies to understand what happened, and ensure that breaches of dignity do not occur again.

“The Australian Government takes very seriously its obligations and responsibilities under international and domestic law to protect foreign dignitaries from harassment or impairment of their dignity.

“Australia attaches great importance to its relationship with Solomon Islands and is strongly committed to close government, business and people-to people links,” the high commissioner said.

Speaking to the local media at a press conference upon his arrival from Australia yesterday PM Lilo told local reporters that he was stunned at the Brisbane airport when a female immigration officer searched him.

He said it was ridiculous to undergo further checks after he went through the normal checking procedure.

“When the lady approached me I confronted her and say what guarantees you to search me because I have gone through the normal checking process.

“My protocol officers have to react and tell the immigration officers in Brisbane that they are approaching the Prime Minister and such search is ridiculous.”

However, Prime Minister Lilo admitted the search was based on reports an Australian intelligence officer based in Honiara relayed to Canberra.

According to information gathered by the Solomon Star, some people of Kolombangara have used the media to complain about the PM who is also their MP.

They complained that PM Lilo has not been truthful as their leader. In pidgin they said “PM man fo bom ia.”

Unfortunately the Australian intel officer in the country does not really understand the different pijin slangs. So when he heard about the Kolombangara people’s complaint, the officer reported it to ASIO (Aust Security Intelligence Organisation).

The news of the incident came out yesterday it has sparked much discussion and debate in the Forum Solomon Islands International (FSII) Facebook page, a page that is being accessed world-wide by some 4,400 members.

Benjamin Afuga FSII Chief Executive Officer (CEO) yesterday also wrote a letter to the Australian High Commissioner requesting the office to consult with Canberra to carry out a full investigation into this issue in order to establish the truth and the reasons for the search and kindly requests the AHC to make a report.

SOURCE: SOLOMON STAR/PACNEWS

8a) Watchdog Group Wants New Vanuatu Airport Deal Clarified
Government called to explain promissory notes, ensure fair deal

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, August 19, 2013) – The anti-corruption watch-dog Transparency International Vanuatu says the government needs to be clear on what commitment it is making with a Singaporean company that plans to build and operate Vanuatu’s airports for the next 50 years.

The government is yet to reveal details of the US$350 million deal which includes a new international airport on the island of Efate.

The President of Transparency International Vanuatu, Marie Noelle Ferrieux Patterson, says the government needs to ensure it is entering a fair deal and suggests it conduct projection and marketing studies.

“It is very important to find out what the promissory notes are. There promissory notes that are going to be signed. What are they signed for? What type of guarantee is the government doing because again I think it’s twice our annual budget here.”

Marie Noelle Ferrieux Patterson says one thing the government should prioritise is a new tarmac for the existing international airport in Port Vila, which she says urgently needs replacing.

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

8b) New post on Vanuatu Daily Digest

Vanuatu daily news digest | 20 August 2013

by bobmakin

Over one hundred participants in a history-making meeting of the Cultural Centre (VKS) fieldworkers are likely to present a governance challenge to the meeting taking place on the other side of the road this week, the sitting of Parliament. Whilst the fieldworkers, and men and women are both participating for the first time this year, acknowledge a debt to government in making the land of the museum and neighbouring NGOs over to the VKS, as the Director Marcelin Abong pointed out, there is always a challenge between the VKS and government because of the need for money. A Santo cultural centre in the VKS 4-Year Plan since 2007 has, in 2013, only got as far as the architectural plans. Abong observed this at the inauguration of the 2013 workshop, Monday morning. This year’s conference is based on Custom Governance and will seek to enable frank and free discussion of the different forms of custom governance and service delivery as practised before the arrival of missionaries and often still practised today. These will be compared and contrasted with the Westminster model of the system of majority rule and administration we have adopted.

For Abong, the most important thing is “We must protect the integrity of our valuable network,” he stressed. Indeed they must as Catherine Sparks of the Christensen Fund acknowledged. “We must look to the power custom gives,” she said. “It is argued that we must develop,” said Sparks. “But everyone needs to control his land, his language and his custom governance.” The Christensen Fund is providing much of the finance for this workshop.

Prime MInister Moana Carcasses Kalosil has approved a Right To Information policy which commits governments to release all information to the public. The sole exceptions are what constitute legal breaches of security or privacy. He says it is “part of his Government’s commitment to openness and transparency.” The policy was developed by a broad range of people and spear-headed by a committee chaired by John Ezra of the Prime Minister’s Office and in which the Media Association of Vanuatu held a strong position, especially with their permanent coordinator, Cathy Nunn. The policy automatically requires media professionals to adhere to their own code of ethics. The United Nations Convention Against Corruption is ratified through the policy and an Act will go before Parliament.

The New Zealand confirmation of assistance to the Seafront Project is of interest to everyone reading this blog and will be dealt with in greater detail in the next days.

bobmakin | August 20, 2013 at 5:38 pm | Categories: The News, Digested |

9) Fiji constitution to be released on Thursday

Posted at 08:32 on 20 August, 2013 UTC

Fiji’s long-awaited fourth constitution will be released on Thursday.

Fiji Broadcasting reports this has been confirmed by the Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

He says members of the public will have until the 6th of September to study the document and make queries on its translations.

The reports say there will be briefings with political parties, the media and members of the diplomatic corp.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum says Fiji’s President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, will assent to the constitution on the 6th of September.

The document has been drawn up by the regime after it dumped the draft drawn up by the Yash Ghai-led Constitution Commission.

It replaces the 1997 constitution, which the regime abrogated four years ago.

Radio New Zealand International

10) Fiji Constitution will be released Thursday: AG
By Online Editor
1:57 pm GMT+12, 20/08/2013, Fiji

The new Fijian Constitution will be out on Thursday.

This was confirmed by the Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

He said members of the public have until September 6 to study the Constitution and make queries about the translation into the vernacular languages.

Following the release on Thursday, there will be briefings with political parties, the media and members of the diplomatic corp.

Sayed-Khaiyum says President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau will assent to the Constitution on Friday, 06 September.

SOURCE: FBC NEWS/PACNEWS

POLYNESIA:


11) Stop interfering: Tonga tells NZ
By Online Editor
4:02 pm GMT+12, 20/08/2013, Tonga

Tonga says it will make do and explore other options if New Zealand continues to suspend its tourism aid to the island kingdom.

New Zealand recently punished Tonga by withdrawing its multimillion dollar tourism aid, following the island kingdom’s acceptance of a gift from China in the form of a Chinese manufactured Xian MA60 aircraft.

In an interview with ISLANDS BUSINESS in Fiji last month, Tonga’s deputy Prime Minister Samiu Vaipulu lashed out strongly at New Zealand, reminding it not to put its nose into local affairs.

“We may go to China or we have some reserve funds but we must find a way to do it,” Vaipulu said when asked what the options are for Tonga, following New Zealand’s decision.

“We just don’t want anyone to interfere with our internal matters. They should not. And they have done that for years. And that’s what Fiji did (resist interference) and we should do the same thing.

“What we don’t want is New Zealand telling us what to do and interfering with our internal matters when they know very well there was a New Zealand company that left on its own without Tonga chasing them. They don’t have to tell us what to do,” Vaipulu said.

The New Zealand company Chathams Pacific, which provided domestic inter-islands flight services in Tonga, had pulled out in March over concerns that it will be driven out of business if the Tongan government went ahead with plans to run a competing airline business.

The issue became a diplomatic spat when, following Chathams Pacific’s pullout and Tonga’s acceptance of China’s airplane gift, New Zealand’s foreign minister Murray McCully announced New Zealand’s decision to suspend his country’s tourism aid to Tonga. That much needed fund is reported to be around NZ$10.5 million (US$8.3million) and is part of a bigger aid package under a bilateral joint commitment for development signed between the two countries in 2011.

New Zealand’s concerns were founded on a recent spate of accidents involving the MA60. Just this year and within a month, three incidents involving MA60s were reported. Two were reported by Myanma Airways in Burma and the other by Merpati Airlines in Indonesia. Last year, Merpati had two similar incidents involving the MA60. The MA60 incidents coincided with events in Tonga surrounding the aircraft type. When Chathams Pacific pulled out, a new airline called Real Tonga took over domestic services in Tonga and it was leased the government’s new MA60.

Real Tonga is owned and operated by Palu Aviation Services, owned by Tevita Palu, a local aircraft engineer with over 25 years experience. Real Tonga and the Tongan government are now finding difficulties with the plane because the MA60 is already not type certified by the United Kingdom and United States authorities and New Zealand has now followed suit.

“Significant safety issues have been raised regarding the plans of the new air services operator. Our tourism support will remain on hold until safety issues are resolved to the satisfaction of respected international aviation experts,” McCully told New Zealand media last month.

Vaipulu dismissed the claims saying the incidents in Indonesia were due more to pilot error than technical issues with the plane.

“McCully should go to China and talk with the Chinese. What we’ve seen with this aircraft is it’s safe and reliable. In fact, I am in negotiations with China for two more aircrafts. They are from another Chinese company but the same type of aircraft that was used by Air Fiji.

“The whole idea of getting this aircraft was so that there can be competition to benefit our people because that is what we want to do. Develop our people and our private sector. But they (Chathams Pacific) say the market is too small and I said no, it’s the equipment that you use. Their aircraft is aged which uses a lot of fuel and that would affect the operation. Now when we have a new aircraft, they say it’s not safe,” Vaipulu said.

In a statement last month, the Tongan government gave assurances that the new aircraft will be put through the procedural safety test process consistent with any aircraft that operates in Tonga. “The MA60 aircraft which has been gifted to Tonga by the Chinese Government will not be allowed to fly in Tonga until it fully complies with international aviation standards including safety requirements established by the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation),” it said.

Real Tonga’s Palu was also quoted in the government statement saying: “Real Tonga is committed to upholding international aviation standards including those for safety. We have not yet signed a deed of lease for the M60 aircraft but when we do sign such an agreement, the MA60 aircraft, like any other aircraft, would be required under Tonga’s aviation regulations to go through the necessary civil aviation checks before the aircraft is allowed to fly in Tonga.”.

SOURCE: ISLANDS BUSINESS/PACNEWS

12) Call for Cook Island MPs to divorce themselves from business interests

Posted at 05:31 on 20 August, 2013 UTC

The leader of the opposition in the Cook Islands says politicians should divorce themselves from any business involvement when they enter parliament.

Wilkie Rasmussen plans on tabling a Code of Conduct Bill by the end of the week which would require MPs to declare any business interests.

He says the Cook Islands are way behind other countries in this area and too many politicians there get into trouble because they get caught up in shady deals.

“Ministers over here do not declare their business interests they do not divorce themselves from their business activities in fact most of them if they get into a ministerial position, in fact it accentuates their business involvement.”

Wilkie Rasmussen says the Prime Minister Henry Puna has neglected the issue and failed to set guidelines for his ministers and that’s one of the reasons the opposition is calling for a snap election in October this year.

Radio New Zealand International

MICRONESIA:

13) CNMI Senate Panel Completes Draft Of 2014 Budget
Some funds restored for Public Lands, Rota mayor’s office

By Emmanuel T. Erediano

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, August 20, 2013) – The Northern Marianas Senate Fiscal Affairs Committee yesterday completed the draft of its own version of the $123 million fiscal year 2014 budget that the full Senate is expected to pass in tomorrow’s session.

Chaired by Sen. Jovita M. Taimanao, Ind.-Rota, the committee restored some funds that the House removed from the budget of the Department of Public Lands (DPL) and the Rota mayor’s office.

Those in the meeting aside from Taimanao were Senate Floor Leader Ray N. Yumul, IR-Saipan; Sen. Pete P. Reyes, R-Saipan; Sen. Frank Q. Cruz, R-Tinian; Sen. Francisco M. Borja, IR-Tinian; and Sen. Joaquin H. Borja, R-Tinian.

In an interview after the meeting, Taimanao said it was the third day of her committee’s work session on House Bill 18-98 or the FY ’14 appropriation measure. She said they will finalize the Senate draft budget bill today so they can act on it tomorrow.

She said that at the meeting, the committee agreed to acknowledge appropriation for essential services as well as the priorities “based on the needs” of each department and government agency.

Taimanao said her committee gave DPL back the $2 million that the House deducted from the department’s $5.2 million budget proposal because the submission had not specifically said where exactly the money would go. DPL’s budget submission simply said the $2 million was for “all others.”

However, in a meeting with fiscal affairs committee last week, DPL Secretary Pete A. Tenorio explained that the $2 million was for the homestead infrastructure development on Saipan, Tinian and Rota.

The Fiscal Affairs Committee also restored $290,000 that the House took from the Rota mayor’s utility budget. During its session on July 21, the House approved Rep. Ramon A. Tebuteb’s floor amendment deducting $290,000 from the Rota mayor’s $671, 241 for utilities. It was the amount that Rota owed the Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation.

Taimanao said her committee worked diligently to finalize the Senate version of the FY ’14 budget.

In a separate interview, Cruz said he agrees with Taimanao that the $2 million should be given back to DPL. That money, he said, is for homestead development that many applicants from Tinian and Rota have been waiting for.

He said the homestead applicants were already issued lot numbers but the land was still not made available. The longer DPL waits to develop the homestead lots, the higher the price of the construction materials.

Even now, there are many people who can hardly afford to buy construction materials, Cruz said.

Marianas Variety: www.mvariety.com

AUSTRALIA:

14) Government defends slow take-up of low-paid seasonal workers visa

Posted 20 August 2013, 20:03 AEST
By Josh Bavas

The Federal Government has defended a slow take-up in the number of visas granted for low-paid seasonal workers.

Employment agents blame illegal workers for flooding the market and say red tape is preventing honest food producers from finding workers in time for harvest.

The Seasonal Workers Program allows employers to hire workers from eight Pacific nations and East Timor, if they cannot find local Australian employees.

The Federal Government allocated 12,000 places in the four years to July 2016 but in the first year, only 1,473 workers were placed in horticulture jobs and 19 in accommodation.

It was only recently extended to include the accommodation sector and the aquaculture, cotton and cane industries.

Manager Nicole Taylor says before the trial, it was near impossible to find workers in her Broome resort.

However, she says she is now employing more than a dozen workers from East Timor.

“It was available to us at a time of year where we do need a lot more labour and we just haven’t been able to source the number of staff for line levels such as housekeeping and food and beverage type positions that we needed,” she said.

“When the program became available we were particularly interested because not only are we finding a great labour source, we also know that these workers are coming from a country where the unemployment rate is particularly high for the youth and they can take back some skills to help their own country.”

Employment agent Ben Scheelings finds seasonal workers for farmers across the country.

He says the Federal Government should consider scrapping requirements for employers to pay for their worker’s airfares.

“Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, the governments there have already said to me, ‘look we are happy to pay the airfares, we just want our workers to go there and earn some money’,” he said.

He says many food producers find it hard competing with those employing illegal workers.

“Illegal workers are prepared to receive $10 an hour, you don’t have to pay tax, mum’s the word,” Mr Scheelings said.

Government expects program interest to increase

Photo: The government says interest in the seasonal workers program is expected to increase.

Emmanuel Bani employs seasonal workers for fruit and vegetable picking.

He says he knows of a number of farmers in Queensland who employ workers on expired tourist visas.

“It’s very, very hard for us to compete against when farmers accommodate illegal workers here and underpay them almost $9 an hour in every farm,” Mr Bani said.

He says employers often cannot find workers in time for harvesting their crops.

“When the farmer wants the workers, we don’t have the workers here, they lose their crops,” Mr Bani said.

Demand for seasonal workers is anticipated to grow each year, and the number of program places available to Australian employers increases each year to reflect this.

Minister for Employment Brendan O’Connor

“They never end up in the markets.”

Employment Minister Brendan O’Connor has defended the sluggish program, saying the numbers are expected to rise in the remaining three years.

“Demand for seasonal workers is anticipated to grow each year, and the number of program places available to Australian employers increases each year to reflect this,” he said.

“Trial arrangements in accommodation, aquaculture, cane and cotton are small scale, and designed to test the whether Seasonal Worker Program arrangements could operate successfully in these sectors where Australian employers can demonstrate that they cannot source enough Australian workers to meet their seasonal labour needs.

“The Australian Government is working with the trial sectors to increase employers’ participation in the trials to ensure that these sectors can be appropriately tested, to determine whether they are appropriate for inclusion in the Seasonal Worker Program on an ongoing basis.”http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

15) Australia Now Second-Largest Asian Development Bank Donor
In 2012, government pledged up to $629 million to replenish ADB

By Jemima Garrett

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, August 20, 2013) – Australia has pulled ahead of the United States to become the second biggest aid donor to the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The move is part of Canberra’s strategy of putting more money into multilateral agencies which have specialist expertise in areas such as infrastructure.

In 2012, the Australian Government pledged up to $629 million for the tenth replenishment of the Asian Development Fund.

Asian Development Bank’s vice president Stephen Groff says Australia has gone from becoming an important partner for the organisation to becoming one of its largest donors.

“Australia has become our second largest donor to our concessional window,” Mr. Groff said.

“It has deepened and strengthened our partnership across a wide range of countries, the Pacific… and in South Asia and South East Asia as well.”

Mr. Groff says the increase in Australia’s funding has not altered what the ADB has been doing.

“It hasn’t changed the strategy of what we do or the focus of what we do but [it] has allowed us to do more of what we are undertaking in many of these countries,” he said.

Mr. Groff says infrastructure development is the ADB’s main focus.

“Our overarching goal is addressing poverty in Asia and the Pacific and we do that through a number of different approaches but a lot of it is infrastructure investment,” he said.

“We are looking at putting investments in place that are going to ensure sustainable and inclusive growth in all of the countries in which we work.”

Mr. Groff says the organisation is working very closely with Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister Peter O’Neill to make infrastructure development a priority.

“One of the largest projects in PNG at the moment is the Lae Port, where we are putting in an entirely new port next to the old port,” he said.

“We are working in the roads sector, we are also doing work in public financial management and a large number of other areas that support and ultimately underpin the government’s ability to support that growth in the long run.”

Mr. Groff says while the ADB often takes a long time to finalise projects, it is taking into account a variety of issues.

“We have to look at safeguards, social safeguards, environmental safeguards, making sure that the people in the area are benefiting from that investment,” he said.

“That kind of analysis takes time.”

Mr. Groff says the PNG Government has agreed to work closely together with the Chinese Government at helping to identify and develop projects with specific kinds of safeguards in place.

“That would make that investment have much better returns to the country in the long run,” he said.

Mr. Groff says the ADB has reached some tentative agreements with the Chinese Government on a number of different investments.

“I think the [Chinese] Government also realises there is value in working together and that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts in many of these situations,” he said.

“[We] are looking forward to strengthening and deepening that relationship over time.”

Radio Australia: www.abc.net.au/ra

16) Australia Political Parties Asked To Ensure Foreign Aid
ACFID calls to maintain predictable contribution levels

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, August 19, 2013) – The peak body for Australian aid and humanitarian charities is calling on the country’s main political parties to ensure a predictable and accountable commitment to foreign aid.

More than $870 million dollars in foreign aid was cut in the last budget update, with some money diverted to pay for Australia’s asylum seeker deal with Papua New Guinea.

The Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) is asking the major parties to keep their existing commitments to Australia’s international aid program.

ACFID Executive Director Marc Purcell told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat there’s evidence to show that the Australian public supports an ongoing commitment to international aid.

“We’ve even been able to track that down right to an electorate level (with) individual candidates, such as Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott,” Mr. Purcell said.

“There’s really robust support in their own electorates for international aid work carried out by NGOs.”

Mr. Purcell says foreign aid – which accounts for 1.4 percent of the Federal budget – needs to be put in perspective.

“Disproportionately, it’s suffered a lot of cuts and deferrals over the last couple of years and we want the two major parties to keep their existing commitments and to keep a degree of predictability,” he said.

“The worst thing you can do with an aid program is start chopping and shifting and changing.

As we’ve seen in Papua New Guinea recently in relation to asylum seekers, it can really undermine the poverty alleviation focus of Australia’s aid efforts.”

Mr. Purcell says the government’s recent decision to provide extra aid to Papua New Guinea as an incentive to take asylum seekers is a misuse of Australian taxpayers’ money.

“In PNG, we’ve seen an effective doubling of aid as a result of the opening up of the Manus Detention Centre,” he said.

“That actually is very poor aid. It’s poor use of taxpayers’ money for a variety of reasons.”

Mr. Purcell says that whoever wins the election must continue to make efforts in funding foreign aid.

“Twenty of our neighboring countries in the Africa-Asia-Pacific region are actually fragile states,” he said.

“They need aid to help them deliver good government services… it’s an investment in our region and in Australia’s future.”

ACFID’s proposal to the government coincides with World Humanitarian Day, celebrated annually on August 19.

The council represents more than 120 Australian aid and humanitarian charities.

Radio Australia: www.abc.net.au/ra

TOK PISIN:

17) Ripot long domestik vailens igo antap long Solomon Islands

Updated 20 August 2013, 13:22 AEST
Kenya Kala

Namba bilong ol meri i save ripot long Domestic Violence igo long ol atoriti long Solomon Islands igo antap long 64 pesent.

Solomon Islands i wok long daunim vailens agensim ol meri
Odio: Pionie Boso, Polisi Ofisa blong long Solomon Islands Ministry of Women, Youth na Children’s Affairs i toktok

Ministry of Women, Youth na Children’s Affairs i tok displa ol statistic oa namba i bikpla tru, na i mekim ol i wari na i kamapim ol nupla polisi program wantaim ol patna organisation long kantri.

Ol dispela patna i inkludim World Visioin Solomon Islands na Correctional Services na ol kalabus long sanisim displa pasin nogut blong domestic violens.

Pionie Boso, Polisi Ofisa wantaim Eliminating Violence Against Women insait long Solomon Islands Ministry of Women, Youth na Children’s Affairs i tok bikpela tingting bihain dispela wok wantaim Correctional Services nau em long senisim pasin.

Em itok  igat bikpla salens long ol wok ol i mekim long daunim domestik violens.Radio Ausralia.

BAHASA:

18) Australia lepas tangan jika kru Freedom Flotilla ditangkap di Indonesia

Diperbaharui 20 August 2013, 20:05 AEST
Laban Laisila

Pemerintah Australia tidak akan bertanggung jawab jika puluhan aktivis Australia yang ikut dalam pelayaran Freedom Flotilla ke Papua ditangkap oleh pihak keamanan Indonesia dan Papua Nugini.

Menteri Luar Negeri Australia, Bob Carr menegaskan Australia tidak bisa mengintervensi hukum di Indonesia dan Papua Nugini jika ada warga negara lain melanggar hukum dan imigrasi kedua negara itu.

Penjelasan itu terkait dengan perjalanan puluhan aktivis Australia dan sejumlah aktivis Papua Merdeka yang telah mendapat suaka serta pasport Australia sedang menuju ke Papua Nugini dan Merauke, Papua dengan kapal layar Freedom Flotilla.

Menurut Carr Pemerintah Australia tidak punya kewajiban untuk memberikan bantuan konsuler sekalipun kalau mereka melanggar hukum Indonesia dan Papua Nugini.

“Mereka harus tahu resikonya dan hukumannya jelas yang akan diterapkan dan Australia tidak bisa mengintervensinya,” tegas Carr.

Carr juga menyampaikan kementerian luat negeri telah memberikan peringatan surat resmi kepada semua orang yang ikut dalam pelayaran melalui juru bicara mereka.

“Mereka sudah mendapat peringatan dari media dan surat secara eksplisit dari kementerian luar negeri yang menyatakan, jika mereka melanggar hukum Indonesia dan PNG.. jangan harapkan pajak Australia dihabiskan untuk menangani kasus kalian, seperti penanganan warga negara Australia lainnya di Bali,” ujarnya.

Carr dalam konferensi pers di sela pertemuan penanganan pencari suaka di Jakarta juga mengatakan apa yang dilakukan oleh puluhan aktivis itu tidak mendapat simpati dari Pemerintah Australia.

Dia bahkan menyebut Pemerintah Australia dari semua faksi, baik partai Buruh dan oposisi mengakui kedaulatan dan negara kesatuan Indonesia termasuk Papua Barat.

“Australia mengakui itu juga merujuk pada ‘Lombok Treaty’,” lanjutnya.

Pelayaran Flotila berlanjut

Sementara itu pelayaran Freedom Flotilla tetap berlangsung meski telah mendapat peringatan dari Pemerintah Indonesia dan tidak mendapat dukungan dari Australia.

Semalam, salah seorang aktivis yang ikut dalam pelayaran, Amos Waingai kepada Radio Australia mengungkapkan telah sampai di sekitar Cooktown, wilayah pesisir pantai timur Australia.

Mereka berangkat dari Cairns, negara bagian Quenssland dan diperkirakan sampai di Papua Nugini dan Meraukae awal bulan depan.

Waingai, aktivis Papua Merdeka yang mendapat suaka di Australia 7 tahun lalu mengklaim perjalanan mereka tidak bermotif politik tapi sebuah perjalanan budaya.

Perjalanan itu disebut mempunyai misi untuk memperingati pemisahan daratan Australia dan pulau Papua sejak zaman pencairan es 10 ribu tahun yang lalu dan era kolonisasi.

“Terserah orang mau bilang apa, tujuan saya cuma satu, saya jalan untuk connect dua tempat antara pulau dan daratan besar,” kata Waingai.

Dia juga menyatakan tidak takut akan dihadang oleh otoritas keamanan Papua Nugini dan Indonesia bahkan ancaman penangkapan terhadap mereka.

Kami sudah siap menghadapi semua resiko yang akan terjadi. Semuanya,” tantang Waingai.Radio Australia.

FRENCH:

19) Flottille de la Liberté: « une initiative très malvenue », selon Bob Carr

Mis à jour 20 August 2013, 18:18 AEST
Caroline Lafargue

Ils ont appareillé samedi depuis Cairns, tout au nord de l’Australie. Trois voiliers, pour une vingtaine de militants en tout. La Flottille de la Liberté fait route vers la Papouasie indonésienne via le Détroit de Torrès. L’Indonésie lui prépare un comité de réception musclé.

Le groupe a commencé son voyage en juillet sur les rives du Lac Eyre, un lac salé entre l’Australie du Sud et le Territoire du Nord, terre des Aborigènes Arabunna.

La Flottille de la Liberté a deux leaders, l’Arabunna Uncle Kevin Buzzacott et Jacob Rumbiak, le ministre des Affaires étrangères de la République Fédérée de Papouasie Occidentale, un groupe indépendantiste évidemment pas reconnu en Indonésie.

Le but du voyage est de soutenir les indépendantistes papous en Indonésie et de montrer que les Aborigènes et les indigènes de la Papouasie indonésienne portent le même fardeau colonial.

L’Indonésie a déjà prévenu qu’elle arraisonnerait les trois bateaux dès qu’ils entreraient dans ses eaux territoriales. Elle a menacé d’arrêter et de placer en détention les membres d’équipage.

Le Ministre indonésien de la Sécurité s’est plaint auprès de l’Australie que les trois voiliers aient été autorisés à quitter le port de Cairns.

Hier le ministre australien des Affaires étrangères a tenu à rassurer l’Indonésie. Bob Carr, au micro de Fran Kelly sur l’ABC :

« S’ils entrent sur le territoire indonésien sans visa, alors ils seront en tort vis-à-vis des lois indonésiennes. Mon ministère des Affaires étrangères les a déjà informés que l’Australie ne soutenait pas leur initiative, que nous jugeons très malvenue. Si les membres de cette Flottille de la Liberté sont arrêtés, je ne pourrai rien faire d’autre pour eux que d’actionner la procédure normale d’aide consulaire. »

L’indépendantiste papou Jacob Rumbiak, exilé en Australie, a déclaré ce week-end que l’Australie devait prendre la tête du mouvement pour l’autodétermination des Papous d’Indonésie. Mais le gouvernement australien n’est pas prêt de s’y mettre :

« Cette initiative portée par un groupe marginal d’Australiens donne un faux espoir cruel aux habitants des deux provinces papoues indonésiennes, comme si cela voulait dire que l’indépendance des deux provinces était en bonne place sur l’agenda international. Alors que pas du tout. Le monde entier reconnaît la souveraineté de l’Indonésie sur ces territoires, de même que l’Australie. Nous la reconnaissons depuis la signature du traité de Lombok*, et il y a consensus sur cette question entre les deux partis majoritaires australiens. »

Un député libéral du Queensland, pourtant, soutient officiellement cette Flottille de la Liberté. « J’espère que le bon sens va reprendre ses droits et que nous verrons la Papouasie occidentale retrouver son identité, sa vraie identité », a déclaré Warren Entsch.

Si Bob Carr critique aussi vertement les indépendantistes papous, c’est une question de calendrier. Le ministre australien des Affaires étrangères participe aujourd’hui à un sommet régional sur les demandeurs d’asile et les passeurs. Or l’Indonésie est déjà excédée par la présence sur son sol de milliers de migrants en transit vers l’Australie, un problème qu’elle juge avant tout australien. Ce n’est donc pas le moment d’entretenir des tensions au sujet de la Papouasie. Bob Carr :

« Je crois que la vraie aspiration de la population des deux provinces indonésiennes papoues, c’est l’autonomie et la croissance économique. Le Président Yudhoyono s’est engagé à mettre en place l’autonomie et le développement économique. L’Indonésie travaille dur sur la question. En fait, dans nos rencontres bilatérales, ce sont les officiels indonésiens eux-mêmes qui lancent la discussion sur le respect des droits de l’homme par ses forces dans les deux provinces, avant même que nous abordions le sujet. »

La Flottille de la Liberté passera par le Détroit de Torrès pour finalement tenter un débarquement sur les côtes de la Papouasie indonésienne le 30 ou le 31 août.

*NDLR: Le traité de Lombok a été signé en décembre 2006. Il s’agit d’un pacte de sécurité qui lie l’Australie et l’Indonésie. http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

20) Australie: l’État poursuivi en justice pour sa politique de l’immigration

Posté à 20 August 2013, 18:08 AEST
Caroline Lafargue

Le gouvernement est poursuivi en justice devant la Cour Fédérale pour le placement permanent d’immigrés reconnus comme d’authentiques réfugiés en Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée.

Le plaignant est un demandeur d’asile transféré au centre de rétention de Manus. Ses avocats affirment qu’il n’y a aucune garantie légale que la Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée ne va pas expulser ces demandeurs d’asile vers d’autres pays où ils pourraient être en danger.

Mais d’après le Garde des Sceaux australien, la plainte n’est légalement pas recevable par la Cour Fédérale pour l’instant. Conséquence, précise Mark Dreyfus, les transferts de demandeurs d’asile depuis l’île australienne de Christmas ne seront pas interrompus.

En parallèle, en Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée, la Cour Suprême a accepté de prendre en compte la plainte de l’opposition papoue contre la détention des demandeurs d’asile à Manus. Belden Namah affirme que cela contrevient à un article de la Constitution selon lequel on ne peut enfermer quelqu’un sans justification autre que la sécurité. http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

PASIFIK:

21) PIDF Will Not Change PIF’s Mission: Tuiloma Slade
Secretary general says PIF still provides services to Fiji

By Mereani Gonedua

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, August 19, 2013) – Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) secretary general Tuiloma Neromi Slade says the newly formed Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) will not change the PIF’s mission, goals or the focus of their work.

The PIDF which was launched last week in Nadi was put forward by Fiji as an alternative to the PIF which Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama had said no longer represented the interests and needs of the region.

Speaking to Islands Business in one of first interviews since the launch of the PIDF, Slade said they function to cooperate with and to coordinate all valid contributions to the forum’s broader regional mandate.

He maintained that Fiji was still suspended from the Forum although some reviews and adjustments have been made “given Fiji’s important economic role and links to prospects for broader regional economic integration.”

One such adjustment, Slade highlighted was permitting Fiji to participate in PACER Plus meetings at the official level.

“While mindful of the conditions set by Forum Leaders for the suspension of Fiji’s participation, the Forum Secretariat continues to provide services to Fiji as a Forum member.”

He said the services include special arrangements with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) to ensure that Fiji ministers and officials are involved in PACP meetings to prepare and advance the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) negotiations with the EU and involvement of Fiji with the European Development Fund arrangements and also with the Pacific Environment Community (PEC) Fund with Japan.

Fijilive: http://www.fijilive.com

HEALTH:


22) Study shows HIV drug resistance in PNG
By Online Editor
3:59 pm GMT+12, 20/08/2013, Papua New Guinea

There is evidence of HIV Drug Resistance in Papua New Guinea, according to preliminary findings of a medical study.

One of the principal investigators into the study, Janet Gare of PNG Institute of Medical Research said the findings showed that there are patients failing therapy with evidence of acquired drug resistance (ADR), likely resulting from non-compliance to treatment.

“There is also evidence of transmitted drug resistance (TDR) in newly infected patients who have no exposure to antiretroviral therapy (ART),”Gare said.

Janet further clarified that Acquired Drug resistance could develop if a patient on treatment is skipping doses or is not sticking to the treatment prescription.

This phenomenon is called ‘acquired drug resistance (ADR). Resistance was acquired while on treatment and blood tests of those people on treatment were collected to find out if they had acquired resistance or not.

If a person who already has HIV drug resistance infects another person, then this is called “transmitted drug resistance (TDR)”.

Blood tests were done on people who are HIV-infected but are not on treatment to detect TDR.

Furthermore, a person who has TDR may not respond well to the drugs when treatment is initiated because that person already has HIV that is resistance to the drugs.

HIV drug resistance testing is therefore important to guide the clinician to make decision on what drugs to prescribe to a patient.

“In PNG, there is no drug resistance testing because it is very expensive,” Ms Gare said when explaining her findings.

The findings was results of 210 consented people living with HIV (PLHIV), recruited from ART prescribing sexual health clinics in two towns of high HIV burden provinces in PNG: Mt Hagen and Goroka.

Once recruited, a questionnaire was administered to capture demographic information including time since diagnosis. For patients on ART, treatment history and self-reported ART adherence and clinical histories were also obtained from patient notes.

Blood was collected for HIV drug resistance testing, viral load testing and HIV sub typing.

Of the 210 patients, 107 were not on ART and 103 were on ART. Of those not on ART, one had evidence of TDR.

For most people on ART, their ART was working to suppress all the virus in the body, of the 16 patients that had viral load, seven had ADR and reported non-adherence to ART”

“With evidence of HIV drug resistance in PNG, continued education focusing on positive behavioural change relating to treatment adherence together with continual monitoring of drug resistance is therefore necessary to minimise HIV drug resistance in the country,” she added.

These preliminary findings were presented to sexual health clinics in the two towns early this month.
A full analysis of the study is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

The study was funded by the PNG National AIDS Council and was carried out by researchers at the PNG IMR in collaboration with the Burnet Institute in Melbourne, Australia.

Since the introduction of ART in PNG in 2004, a total of 78 health facilities had been administrating ART to 9435 of the registered HIV patients by end of 2011.

As ART programs expand, the emergence of drug resistance becomes an increasing issue, including both ADR and TDR.

The study is also the basis of a PhD program for Janet Gare.

SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS

23) Asylum seekers from PNG could bring TB to Australia, warns medical expert

by: Daniel Bateman
From:The Courier-Mail

August 19, 2013 12:00AM

A MEDICAL expert says unless there is a “massive escalation” in coastal surveillance, Labor’s PNG solution could leave Northern Australia vulnerable to diseases such as tuberculosis.

James Cook University Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Medicine Professor Ian Wronski has warned the Federal Government needs to shore up its tropical disease response, following reports asylum seekers have been sailing across the 4km stretch between Papua New Guinea and Australia.

Two Somali asylum seekers were picked up by customs and immigration officers on remote Boigu Island, 6km south of PNG, last Saturday morning.

Prof Wronski said it was already a challenge for health authorities keeping tropical diseases out of Australia’s northernmost borders, with thousands of people legally travelling between PNG and Australia each year.

He said tuberculosis (TB) was becoming an established disease within the Torres Strait, and unless the illegal boat issue was resolved, the disease would eventually spread to vulnerable parts of mainland Australia.

According to AusAID, PNG has the highest TB burden in the Pacific region with more than 14,749 new cases diagnosed a year.

“Without a massive escalation in Australia’s coastal surveillance – which is already pretty expensive – I can’t imagine how you would contain tuberculosis in the population in PNG,” Prof Wronski said.

“I would imagine you could well see an industry arising in PNG in ferrying people to Australia.”

JCU has been seeking a financial commitment from both major parties towards funding its Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine.

The $116 million institute is to be based in Townsville, with offices in Cairns and Thursday Island.

It will be staffed by scientists who will spearhead research into the cure and prevention of tuberculosis, dengue fever, rabies and other emerging infectious diseases.

The Queensland Government has already committed $42 million towards building essential infrastructure and bolster key research projects for the project.

Prof Wronski called on both parties to commit their own funding of the institute.

“This is really a quite important juncture,” he said.

“Once these diseases are established, they’re really quite hard to dig out.

‘More broadly, the boat people issue has focused attention on just how easily it is to get across from PNG to Australia.

“I think we’ve got responsibilities as a civil society to deal with that in a satisfactory way.”

http://www.news.com.au/national-news/

24) 5 Ni-Vanuatu Doctors Appointed As Provincial Hospital Heads
Government wants physicians working in home communities

By Glenda Shing

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, August 19, 2013) – Another milestone in the history of Vanuatu’s health service has been reached as five ni-Vanuatu doctors receive letters of appointments to serve as superintendents or chief doctors in their respective province of origin.

The five doctors who have been appointed and the positions they take up are: Dr. Sala Vurobaravo, chief doctor of Northern District Hospital and responsible for Sanma health services; Dr. Rosemary Taun, superintendent of Vila Central Hospital; Dr. Walesi Natuman, who will look after Lenakel Hospital in Tanna and Tafea health services; Dr. Olive Tanabose, superintendent of Norsup Hospital and Malampa health services; and Dr. Selwyn Bage, who will be responsible for Lolowai Hospital and Penama health services. A doctor is yet to be appointed for Torba Province, according to the Minister of Health, Serge Vohor.

The reform within the Ministry of Health which sees that doctor-services are decentralized to the islands is one of various decisions that have been passed recently by the Council of Ministers.

“We are not about to restructure the whole health service system, but we want to find solutions to ensure that there is progress in health service delivery to the people,” Minister Vohor said.

He congratulated the doctors and thanked them for accepting their appointments and being prepared to face the challenges before them.

The Minister of Health made clear that the current government wants doctors of particular provinces to serve in their own province, so that each province will be strengthened and better serve the people there. The idea is that, “there would be more concentration and efficient delivery to the people in this way.”

To the newly appointed superintendents, the Minster gave a reminder: to always create a friendly environment where sick people feel they want be cared for. As he said, an unfriendly environment within a hospital or health centre consequently makes a sick patient sicker.

He assured them that the government will always support them financially and morally should they come across difficulties in their new positions. “Your difficulties will also be shared by the government,” he told them.

The appointment of the doctors will be a six-month trial before their positions will be advertised by the Public Service Commission.

Vanuatu Daily Post: http://www.vanuatudaily.com

25) PETA Urges American Samoans To Give Up Meat
Animal rights group says vegan diet easiest way to fight obesity

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, August 19, 2013) – A prominent animal rights group says American Samoans should stop eating meat and become vegetarians or vegans for the sake of their health.

The Australian branch of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, says recent statistics show that American Samoa has one the fattest populations in the world.

PETA have written to the US Pacific territory’s director of public health to donate their help in persuading American Samoans to give up meat.

The letter cites World Health Organisation figures which put estimates of the territory’s obesity rate at 94 percent.

Claire Fryer, PETA’s campaign director, told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat they are offering a vegetarian or vegan starter kit to curb what they describe as an “obesity epidemic.”

“Vegan eating is better for human health,” she said. “Vegans, on average, are around 10 to 20 pounds lighter than meat eaters.”

Ms. Fryer says the easiest way to address the issue is to switch to a plant-based diet.

“With vegan options available to suit everyone’s taste these days, there’s really no excuse not to start going vegan today,” she said.

Culturally, meat forms an essential part of village feasts in American Samoa, but Ms. Fryer says there are faux meat alternatives available to meet cultural needs.

“This is the best way to try and save the future for these people,” she said.

“According to the US Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the children and adults who do go vegan reduce their risk of cancer, heart disease, strokes, diabetes and obesity.”

In May of this year, a US study found some American Samoan babies as young as 15 months are being classified as obese.

Ms. Fryer says it is particularly important for children and adolescents to avoid obesity.

“They’re far less likely to return to a healthy weight and very young children can show symptoms of heart disease,” she said. “We’re genuinely concerned about the health of American Samoans.”

Radio Australia: www.abc.net.au/ra

26) Doctors raise dead woman

SYDNEY: Australian doctors have saved the life of a woman who was clinically dead for 42 minutes.
The miracle patient was rushed to hospital after a major heart attack, but was declared clinically dead soon after arrival.
With the aid of a high-tech machine that kept blood flowing to her brain, doctors at Melbourne’s MonashHeart managed to unblock vital arteries and return her heart to a normal rhythm.
On Monday the hospital described her survival as “astonishing”.
Doctors say Vanessa Tanasio, 41, a mother of two from the suburb of Narre Warren, needed numerous defibrillator shocks, including one in the ambulance on her way to hospital.
In a telephone interview from the hospital, she said she was eager to get home.
“I’m feeling excellent. For someone who has been dead for nearly an hour of this week I am feeling tremendously well.”
Emergency medics used a device called LUCAS 2 to keep her blood flowing last Monday while cardiologist Dr Wally Ahmar worked to unblock the arteries to her heart.
Ms Tanasio, a sales representative for an earth-moving equipment company, said she had no history of heart problems.
“This has taken me completely by surprise.
“I am relieved to still be here for my children.
“The doctors and the nurses have been awesome. The machine is awesome.”
The $15,000 device was bought through a fundraising partnership between MonashHeart and the Victoria Police.
Sergeant Mark Robertson, part of the team that raised the money, said he was thrilled.
He joined Ms Tanasio’s mother, Virginia, and children Ella, 11, and Max, 9, at her bedside this week.
“Any money raised to purchase medical equipment is going to a worthy cause, but to have an outcome like this is incredible,” he said.

AAP clf/rp

BUSINESS/TRADE+:

27) Polye says technology catalyst for PNG growth
By Online Editor
1:43 pm GMT+12, 20/08/2013, Papua New Guinea

Research , science, technology and Innovation are catalyst for addressing development in the country, Treasury Minister Don Polye said last Friday.

“Given the global advancement in the information and communications technology, they all have a key role to play in expanding the economy, managing natural resources, improving governance, promoting the effective delivery of services and better health outcomes,” Polye said.

He noted the national research agenda should also contribute to a significant growth in national innovation and business creation.

He congratulated participants for  identifying a core set of national research priorities, saying he was pleased that these priorities were mapped against the seven pillars of the PNG Vision 2050.

“We need to mobilise our resources to invest more in these areas to help achieve our development aspirations of Vision 2050 and other policy documents,” Polye told researchers, scientists, academics and participants at an inaugural national research agenda workshop in Port Moresby.

The minister said little attention was given to these important areas and called for a concentrated research that would make a real difference to people’s lives.

The workshop was organised by the Office of Higher Education Research, Science and Technology council secretariat.

Research priorities identified at the workshop would be put together by a new research, science and technology council into a national research agenda.

SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS

28) Sisilo: Still far apart on labour mobility & help
By Online Editor
1:44 pm GMT+12, 20/08/2013, Solomon Islands

After last week’s PACER-Plus negotiations in Port Vila, Vanuatu, the Forum Island Countries (FICs) and Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) are still far apart on what matters most  to FICs – labour mobility and development assistance.  And  this is not a good sign for PACER-Plus.

“While we made some progress on second-tier issues such as technical barriers to trade and sanitary and phytosanitary issues, very little progress was made on the two issues of utmost importance to us, namely development assistance and labour mobility,” said Robert Sisilo, Solomon Islands Trade Negotiations Envoy and Lead Negotiator for FICs.

The FICs would like ANZ to provide them with both implementation and development assistance but they have only committed to assist FICs in the implementation of their obligations in PACER-Plus.  But the FICs strongly believe implementation assistance will not necessarily enable them to take advantage of PACER Plus given the structural weaknesses in their economies.  They need development assistance to build their capacity to trade.

“Without development assistance, we will not be able to take advantage of the PACER-Plus agreement to increase and diversify our exports.  PACER-Plus will therefore risk being just another free trade agreement which would not facilitate the integration of our countries into the global trading system,” Sisilo said.

On labour mobility, Sisilo said that the main demands of the FICs were to have this as an integral part of PACER-Plus so that it becomes legally binding.

The FICs would also like ANZ to increase the number of eligible workers under their labour schemes and also extend their coverage to include as many sectors as possible to give FICs ample opportunities to derive significant benefits in terms of remittances and enhanced skills for their citizens.

“While the FICs will be making legally binding commitments in trade in goods, trade in services and investment, ANZ do not want to make legally binding commitments on development assistance and labour mobility.

“We want the same treatment for all issues and will not accept merely voluntary commitments as being proposed by ANZ.  It is simply not fair,” Sisilo said.

Sisilo was adamant that unless ANZ give substantive concessions on these two issues, the talk that PACER-Plus would be a different agreement that would assist the FICs to achieve economic growth and sustainable development would be mere rhetoric with no substance to it.

SOURCE: SOLOMON STAR/PACNEWS

29) Kas: PNG Mining Act out of date

By Online Editor
3:48 pm GMT+12, 20/08/2013, Papua New Guinea

Madang Governor Jim Kas said the Mining Act is out of date and needs to be reviewed.

He told the Mamose regional forum on mining development in the country that it was time landowners received greater benefits from resources on their land.

He said while stakeholders jumped in excitement at the news of large prospects, the rules of the game placed indigenous people at a major disadvantage even before the negotiation process.

Kas said the mining laws were out of date because they were designed to make business easier for  external partners and developers. They were accepted because the country needed development at the time “at any cost”.

He asked whether responsible and transparent social impact assessments were conducted and followed up by environment input studies.

He also queried whether the government negotiating teams broker satisfactory benefit packages which were accepted by the people.

Kas said other areas that needed to be looked at in the Mining Act were whether landowners and the people benefitted from projects and whether equity, royalties, project partnerships, landowner contract opportunities and employment opportunities were equitable.

“Would the infrastructure development and economic benefits generated by the mine well and truly compensate our people for the use of their land and damage done to their environment?”

Meanwhile, the present 30% equity participation by the State in any mining venture must be changed, a mining conference was told.

Vice-Minister for Mining Wera Mori spoke at the Mamose regional forum held to review the mining policies in Lae last Friday.

Mori said the current policy in which the State’s interest was carried free to fund infrastructure development and the 30% equity for costs to gain entry into the project was inequitable.

He said the challenge was for a legislation to be enacted mandating a developer to give the entire 30% free to the State, or alternatively for it to be given 20% free and pay only 10% of sunk costs.

“This is in recognition of the State as the host nation so that other negative perceptions of the industry such as our natural resources being exploited by foreign interests could be dispelled,” he said.

“After all, the public perception now is that resources belong to us and therefore, why should we pay for things that we own.”

Mori warned that some changes must be made, but with a certain degree of responsibility, so that it reflected the best interest of the State and its citizens.

He said there was definitely a need for stronger bonding and creation of better relationships among investors and landowners, host provincial governments and the government and landowner companies in mining.

SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS

30) Booklet to aid women

Ropate Valemei
Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A BOOKLET to assist women in microfinance businesses was launched in Suva yesterday by Minister for Women, Social Welfare and Poverty Alleviation Doctor Jiko Luveni.

The financial diary was developed by the South Pacific Business Development organisation to assist women entrepreneurs with managing and recording their finances.

“It marks the distribution of a tool that enables women and interested partners to have a reference material available to them at all times on a subject that will make a difference in their lives,” Dr Luveni said.

She commended the organisation for the foresight to produce the booklet that was tailor-made for women in Fiji.

“The booklet will also create the habit of reading among our women and open doors to the print media that provides a wealth of information for non-formal education,” she said.

SPBD general manager Elrico Munoz said microfinance was about transforming lives and mind-sets of women.

Mr Munoz said this could be achieved through financial education.

The booklet was a success with the assistance of Courts Fiji Limited.

Courts marketing manager Anil Senewiratne said they were indeed proud to be associated with SPBD considering the effort to strengthen the economic capabilities of rural and remote communities.

Mr Senewiratne said the program was meaningful as it directly involved uplifting the living standards and enlightening rural lives.http://www.fijitimes.com/

31) IPBC in UK talks

The National
Tuesday, August 20, 2013

PAPUA New Guinea’s Independent Public Business Corporation (IPBC) is talking directly with Vodafone UK to bring the global telecommunications giant to run bemobile PNG, managing director Wasantha Kumarasiri told EMTV.

He said recently that IPBC had put the money in bemobile’s trust and talks with UK would follow soon.

Mr Kumarasiri said no proper reason or reasons were given why the Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF) and Vodafone Fiji cancelled their part of the agreement.

IPBC is the major shareholder in bemobile, with 85 per cent stake. Initially, FNPF had agreed to invest US$88 million ($F165.18m) when it signed the deal with IPBC in April this year.

Under the agreement, IPBC was to get equity of 51 per cent while FNPF would own 40 per cent.

The loan agreement would have seen Fiji’s Vodafone manage bemobile’s telecommunication system. Mr Kumarasiri said IPBC was saddened over the unfortunate decision by its partners.

However, he said it had not prevented shareholders from carrying out an alternative plan.

He said IPBC was awaiting feedback from its partner shareholders before the plan would be formally carried out.

He said the invitation was open to any interested parties who would like to be part of the business project.

Meanwhile, bemobile chairman Syd Yates said the company was negotiating with IPBC to increase its shareholding and so increasing PNG’s investment and control.

He said bemobile’s shareholders were committed to growing bemobile’s businesses and to providing its customers with the efficient mobile network.

With IPBC’s assistance, bemobile had entered into interim arrangements with its network equipment supplier to stabilise its network.http://www.fijitimes.com/

LAW&ORDER:

32) Policewomen in Bougainville provide much needed balance

Posted at 01:36 on 20 August, 2013 UTC

The Bougainville community auxiliary police have recruited women to give a much-needed balance to the service.

Constable Reginald Sogen is the Coordinator of the 340 Bougainville community auxiliary police being trained by New Zealand police officers.

He says the main problems police deal with include armed robberies and domestic violence fuelled by drugs and alcohol.

Constable Sogen says it can be difficult to disarm criminals, as police don’t carry weapons, but when people take the law into their own hands, the presence of women in the service is essential.

“There are lots of important ways that policewomen, because when policeman goes and there is no policewoman there, we do things differently you know. But with policewomen present, we can control our force. Stop us from hitting people.”

Reginald Sogen says policewomen are also better suited to dealing with female offenders.

Radio New Zealand International

33) Chinese fugitive caught in Fiji
By Online Editor
4:04 pm GMT+12, 20/08/2013, China

A female executive suspected of running off with company money was escorted back to China from Fiji on Monday, according to China’s Ministry of Public Security.

Chen Yi, former general manager of Shanghai Fanxin Insurance Agency Co, allegedly stole 500 million yuan (US$81 million) from the company and ran away, according to previous media reports.

The case was reported to the local police in Shanghai on August 12, according to the ministry.

The ministry asked for international law enforcement forces for help and found Chen in Fiji.

The ministry sent a work team to Fiji and seized Chen in cooperation with the local police, it said.

Chen was escorted back to China on Monday night, said the ministry.

SOURCE: XINHUA/PACNEWS

REFUGEE/ASYLUM+:


34) Asylum seekers still PNG-bound despite Federal Court challenge
By Online Editor
1:51 pm GMT+12, 20/08/2013, Australia

Australian Federal Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus says asylum seeker transfers to Papua New Guinea will continue despite a Federal Court challenge to the policy.

He says the challenge was filed on behalf of someone already being held at the Manus Island detention centre.

Lawyers acting for the asylum seeker say his removal from Australia was invalid.

They say there is no evidence that Papua New Guinea will keep its word not to send asylum seekers to other countries, where they may face persecution.

In a statement, Dreyfus says the Government is very confident the policy will withstand a legal challenge, and will vigorously defend the challenge.

“There will be no interruption to ongoing transfers, and Australian Government policy will continue to be fully implemented while this matter proceeds,” he said.

He says the Government has advice that the case cannot begin in the Federal Court and Government lawyers will object to the application.

The application has been filed in the Federal Court, but the ABC understands it will be transferred to the High Court.

SOURCE: RADIO AUSTRALIA/PACNEWS

35) Doubt Cast On Australia-PNG Asylum Resettlement Deal
Despite agreement, PNG says refugees would be settled elsewhere

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, August 19, 2013) – Questions linger over the refugee resettlement deal between Australia and Papua New Guinea, amid uncertainty over where refugees will be resettled.

The arrangement, signed last month between Prime Ministers of both countries, stipulates that any unauthorised maritime arrival entering Australian waters will be sent to PNG’s Manus island in the first instance for processing and resettlement in PNG or any other participating regional state.

However other Pacific island governments appear reluctant to join the deal and, as Johnny Blades reports, PNG has denied two key elements of the arrangement as touted by Australia’s leader Kevin Rudd.

The exclusion of Australia taking on any asylum seekers arriving by boat was the central tenet of the so-called PNG Solution that Kevin Rudd announced to the Australian public last month.

Yet in recent days PNG’s government has cast doubt on both this and the provision that PNG would settle all the refugees.

PNG’s Prime Minister says it is not just PNG and Australia’s issue to deal with.

Facing deep domestic discord over the deal, Peter O’Neill says his country will work with the UNHCR and other regional countries, including Australia and New Zealand, to resettle refugees.

PETER O’NEILL: It does not mean that everyone who goes to the Manus processing facility will be resettled in PNG. I want to also make it very clear that even giving citizenship to genuine refugees, it must comply with our own laws, and there’s a process which applies to non-Papua New Guinean-born persons becoming citizens in our own country.

Inevitably, regional states are weighing up the prospect of taking Australia’s asylum seekers.

The Solomon Islands Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo says he has rejected an informal request from Australia to take asylum seekers.

Fiji’s government has been scathing in its criticism of the deal.

Vanuatu’s Deputy Prime Minister Edward Natapei has also firmly rejected the idea, saying Vanuatu needs to focus on domestic issues before it can get involved.

EDWARD NATAPEI: No, there hasn’t been any question recently. There were some questions before when I was Prime Minister of the country and my answer was no. Vanuatu is not prepared to host asylum seekers. Full stop. That is the answer that we will give them again this time.

While not ruling out helping those in need, Vanuatu’s Prime Minister Moana Carcasses says the solution to Australia’s asylum seeker problem may lie in Australia.

MOANA CARCASSES KALOSIL: It is a problem. I don’t want to be in the shoes of the prime minister of Australia to fix that but we don’t want to be also, the Pacific to be used as the dump area for that. Australia is a big country, you have a lot of space. Maybe the solution is there. I don’t know.

Like PNG, Nauru’s government has agreed to accommodate Canberra’s asylum seekers under the new deal.

But as Mathew Batsiua of Nauru’s opposition says, the government’s public assurances that refugees won’t get citizenship or residency are inconsistent with the agreement.

MATHEW BATSIUA: You cannot escape the fact that the words and the text in the MOU clearly states that Nauru has accepted to resettle any person deemed to be a refugee under the convention and are seeking refuge here in Nauru. The government has committed Nauru to that position and that’s clearly the words of the MOU that they’ve signed off to. Now they’re trying to back-pedal saying really what they meant is different.

Meanwhile, Peter O’Neill has denied that he agreed to settle all the refugees – he says Australia will need to take back a share of them.

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

36) Vanuatu Would Not Sign Asylum Deal With Australia: Natapei
Deputy PM confirms no requests have been received from Australia

By Jonas Cullwick

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, August 19, 2013) – Foreign Affairs and External Trade Minister, Edward Natapei, has confirmed the Vanuatu Government has not received any request from Australia to host a detention center like it has with the governments of Nauru and Papua New Guinea to house asylum seekers wishing to enter Australia.

Fielding questions with visiting New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister, Murray McCully, from local and New Zealand journalists travelling with the New Zealand foreign minister at Chantilly’s-on-the-Bay in Port Vila Friday, Natapei said no request from Australia had been received on the asylum seeker center or resettlement issue. He said if such a request was received by the Vanuatu Government the answer would be “No.”

Natapei who is also Deputy Prime Minister said such an issue would first require consultation with the chiefs, the churches and getting the views and the agreement of the leaders and the people. He said the issue is not a priority for Vanuatu as the Government at present is focusing on building the economy of the country.

“We are working to develop our tourism sector because currently 60% of our population are under 30 years of age and we need to do something about creating employment for this section of the population before it becomes an unmanageable ‘time bomb,’” the Vanuatu Foreign Affairs Minister said.

He confirmed that when he was prime minister several years ago, the subject of Vanuatu hosting a detention center for Australia’s asylum seekers was discussed, but that no firm decision was made and that if it came up again the answer would be ‘No.’

Vanuatu Daily Post: http://www.vanuatudaily.com

37) Nauru Asylum Riot Cases Expected To Strain Legal System
Chief justice says about 120 prosecutions to be heard in court

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, August 19, 2013) – Nauru’s Chief Justice, Geoffrey Eames, says a new courthouse and more lawyers are now critical as the country’s courts start dealing with a host of asylum seeker cases.

The District Court starts proceedings this week on cases arising out of last September’s riot at the regional processing centre and proceedings are also due in coming months in relation to July’s riot.

Justice Eames says nearly 120 criminal prosecutions are due to be heard and they’re expected to place a great strain on Nauru’s limited resources.

He says the Supreme Court also starts hearing appeals from decisions of the Refugee Status Review Tribunal in the new year and there will be a need for even more resources including a separate registry system.

The Chief Justice made the comments as he admitted two lawyers from Australia to the Supreme Court.

They will be working on a mostly volunteer or pro bono basis but Justice Eames says more full time prosecution and defence lawyers will be required in coming months.

He says the resources needed are beyond Nauru’s budget so the country will be looking to wealthier countries for support.

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

CLIMATE CHANGE/CONSERVATION & ENVIROMENT:


38) PNG Mining wastes outcry
By Online Editor
1:41 pm GMT+12, 20/08/2013, Papua New Guinea

Resource owners Federation of PNG has called for a full inquiry into the mine disposal practices in Papua New Guinea.

The federation was concerned about the dumping of mine tailings and other waste in river systems, seas and oceans and wanted such mining practices banned for good.

Federation president Jonathan Paraia said each year, many mining companies dump millions of tonnes of hazardous mine wastes into rivers, lakes and seas of PNG.

He said these chemicals threatened humans, environment and the aquatic ecosystems.

“The large volumes of waste in the form of solids, liquid effluents and air emissions are products from mining and mineral processing operations,” Paraia said in a statement.

“Solid wastes, which comprise of waste rock and tailings are, by volume, the most significant wastes generated by any mining and mineral processing activities,” he said.

Paraia said waste rock was usually dumped into large piles within a mine’s waste rock storage area, which could spread over an area of several square kilometres.

“The coarse texture of waste rock allows air and water to easily move through the piles.

“Because much of the waste rock have never before been exposed to the elements, it can be reactive with the air, water and micro-organisms, which could cause acid mine drainage, releasing metals to surface and ground water.

“Tailings are usually discharged as slurry – thick liquids — the finely ground ore and any residual chemicals from the processing or milling.

“Tailings consist of finely ground rock, which could become chemically reactive thus posing serious environmental risks … acid rock drainage and the release of toxic metals, toxic reagents used in processing are also a threat to the environment.

Paraia said the combination of liquids and fine-grained solids could also cause many tailings to become physically unstable.

He said that if left exposed to the air to dry, tailings could be blown by the wind causing air pollution and be washed into waterways, harming aquatic ecosystems.

“Toxic pollutants that are commonly found in tailings include sodium cyanide, mercury, chloride, xanthates, hydrochloric acid, activated carbon, copper sulphate, sulphuric acid, iron, lead, arsenic, cadmium, selenium, zinc, nickel and others.”

Paraia asked why the nation’s leaders continue to allow leading companies to use irresponsible and primitive methods of waste disposal, while developed nations — by treaties — prohibit the dumping of mine waste into natural bodies of water.

“With climate change impacts such as droughts becoming increasingly noticeable and with our human population reaching more than seven million, freshwater resources have become critical to the survival of the people and the natural ecosystems, which are increasingly threatened by depletion and pollution,” he said.

“The oceans and its resources are also under unprecedented and unsustainable pressure from direct contamination from mining waste, climate change and acidification from greenhouse gas emissions.

Paraia said the mining industry must share the collective responsibility to protect water, the aquatic ecosystems and the human communities that rely on them.
SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS

39) Revealed: 80cm sea rise warning
By Online Editor
1:55 pm GMT+12, 20/08/2013, United States

The world is on track to become up to five degrees hotter, and sea levels could rise more than 80 centimetres this century, according to a leaked draft of a landmark climate change report prepared for the UN.

There is now a 95 per cent likelihood human greenhouse gas emissions are driving changes being observed globally, which in recent weeks have included extraordinary heatwaves in Asia and Alaska.

That degree of certainty has been revised up from 90 per cent in the last report in 2007, 66 per cent in 2001, and just over 50 in 1995. A sea level rise of up to 82 centimetres, which would have serious impacts on coastal cities everywhere, is now “unequivocal”, Reuters reported.

But while many forecasts have hardened, the certainty over some of the impacts of global warming has declined, with scientists struggling to predict some local effects including regional changes in rainfall, drought and wild weather.

The final version of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, which will cover the expected effects of climate on Australia in coming decades, is scheduled for release in September.

About 200 countries, including Australia, have pledged to hold temperature rises to two degrees by cutting emissions, though few nations are on track to meet that goal.

The federal opposition rejected a report by Fairfax Media on Monday that showed banks and other major investors estimated that about $4 billion in private funding for renewable energy projects would be withheld if the Coalition won office.

This estimate is based on work by market analysts suggesting that regulatory uncertainty and the prospect of unknown returns would stymie investment.

Roughly $20 billion in private and public investment would be required to meet the mandatory renewable energy target – 20 per cent clean energy by 2020 – that has bipartisan political support.

The opposition climate spokesman, Greg Hunt, said he speaks to big investors regularly and did not believe they had any concerns about the opposition’s ”direct action” climate change policy.

The opposition intends to spend about $2.5 billion to buy emissions cuts in its first four years, and dismantle the government’s emissions trading scheme, climate science advisory panel and Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

Hunt said the corporation was spending far more than it needed by partnering in large-scale solar power plants and other renewable projects.

The Climate Change Minister, Mark Butler, said the Labor policy was producing results, including a 7 per cent cut in emissions from the National Electricity Market and a 25 per cent increase in renewable energy generation in the past year. ”The Coalition’s climate change policy is an expensive dud,” he said.

SOURCE: SMH/PACNEWS

SPORTS:


40a) 40 athletes sign up for cycling, triathlon
By Online Editor
4:07 pm GMT+12, 20/08/2013, Fiji

The third Pacific Islands Triathlon and Cycling Championships has attracted a good number of backers for the regional tournament this weekend in Port Moresby.

PNG Power is the latest sponsor to front up with K20,000 to support the multi-sport event.

Company acting chief executive officer John Tangit presented a cheque for the amount to PNG Triathlon president Annette Copola at the PPL board room recently.

In addition, the company is giving two tents for use during the two-day cycling and multi-sport extravaganza, on top of 100 t-shirts for event officials and volunteers.

The Pacific Islands Triathlon and Cycling Championships has already attracted athletes from Port Moresby, Wewak, Manus, Tabubil, Guam, Fiji and the Solomon Islands.

Other companies that have supported include Digicel, which has come on board as the official mobile communications provider.

Stella Magazine is donating copies of its magazine as half the athletes are women, while Chemcare is the official supplier of body spray and Gatorade is the official supplier of energy drinks.

Athletes from Fiji and the Solomon Island are expected to arrive early this week, while those from Guam are coming on Friday.

Damien said so far 40 competitors had registered. Two technical officials from Triathlon Australia will conduct a refresher course.

SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS

40b) No more soccer imports, says Fiji Football Association President

By Online Editor
4:09 pm GMT+12, 20/08/2013, Fiji

The Fiji Football Association will not entertain any more foreign players as from the 2013/2014 season.

This is after the district associations passed a motion that it is about time local talents should be developed and districts should stop depending on importing players.

This was passed at the Fiji Football Association council meeting in Ba last Saturday.

With the 2013 season drawing to a close, foreigners will only be able to feature in the Courts Inter District Championship in October before their contracts will cease. The next Fiji Sun/GPBatteries National Football  League season will start in September.

Fiji FA president, Rajesh Patel said the change will benefit the sport in the country.

“The Fiji FA board had recommended for two foreign players for each district with three months residency requirement but Rewa moving a motion and Ba seconding it that none of the foreign players should be allowed to play. This was passed unanimously,” Patel said.

“So from the new National League starting in September no foreign players would be allowed to play. Only exception will be this year’s IDC,” Patel said.

“After that all the contracts will have to be rescinded and the districts will have to release all the players.

Meanwhile, Indiscipline will not be tolerated in the national team,says Tarunesh Reddy.

The Fiji Football National team director made the comment after announcing the 32 national squad .

“We have dropped some senior players. This is because of indiscipline. We will not tolerate any indiscipline this year,” Reddy said.

“We have selected few Under-20 and U17 players as we are also looking at building up our national team to the 2015 Pacific Games.”

The national team will make a tour of Vanuatu and New Caledonia in October and the Asia tour is scheduled for February 2014.

He said the idea behind the selection of the squad which includes mostly young players was to develop a young and balanced team for the next World Cup Qualifiers.

Reddy added that the selection door has not been closed yet as selectors will be eying more players in the upcoming tournaments.

The national team will be coached by Juan Carlos Buzzetti while Imdad Ali will be his assistant.

Squad: Akuila Mateisuva (Rewa), Beniamino Mateinaqara (Nadi), Vereti Dickson (Labasa), Jone Ralulu (Ba), Peniame Drova (Rewa), Archie Watkins (Australia), Abbu Zahid (Ba), Ilisoni Logaivau (Labasa), Krishneel Dutt (Lautoka), Laisenia Raura (Ba), Noa Vukica (Lautoka), Josefata Neibuli (Ba), Samuela Kautoga (Vanuatu), Leone Damudamu (Suva), Remueru Tekiata (Ba), Zibraaz Sahib (Lautoka), Taione Kerevanua (Labasa), Malakai Tiwa (Ba), Misaele Draunibaka (Labasa), Uraia Loki (Nadi), Esava Naqeleca (Suva), Roy Krishna (NZ), Osea Vakatalesau (Ba), Ilimotama Jese (Nadi), Samuela Drudru (Suva), Rusiate Matarerega (Nadi), Napolioni Qasevakatini (Nadi), Junior Narendra Rao (Ba), Manasa Nawakula (Ba), Kolinio Sivoki (Suva), Iosefo Verevou (Rewa)….

SOURCE: FIJI SUN/PACNEWS

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *