Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 980
1) Vanuatu Consultations Discuss Intellectual Property Strategy
Many questions raised about ownership, control of IP
By Jonas Cullwick
- PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, May 13, 2014) – A whole range of issues of concern about intellectual property relating to products currently on the market in Vanuatu featured prominently in last week’s National Consultation on the Vanuatu Intellectual Property (IP) strategy for the next three years – 2015-2017.
- Sanma Provincial Government’s Council’s representative, Kensley Michah highlighted the concerns of Santo and Malo Islands about the theft of IP rights to water music and the province’s renowned colored beads-decorated flip flops, which he said originated in the province but have been copied and produced in many other places today. Torba Province also has its water music and the beads-lined flip flops are now even produced by some local vendors in Port Vila and other areas of Vanuatu.
Michah, who is Sanma Provincial Government Council’s Marketing Officer, also pointed to the IP rights to hundreds of generic hybrids of the water taros of Sanma being researched the produced by research institutes in the province. He asked who would have ownership rights to such products.
- Tafea’s representative, David Tovovur — also Assistant Secretary General of the province, said there are a lot of developments taking place in Tafea involving natural resources such as the Yasur Volcano on Tanna that would require IP consideration. But he said, for them, the province wanted the IP legislative framework to be completed before they can start to implement its provisions to cover IP rights over such products including the now world-renowned Tanna Coffee.
- John Mael from the Department of Industry pointed to the need for increased awareness “to let the people know about IP and their rights to products that they have created”. He suggested the Department of Education take the IP awareness on board in their school curriculum so that it can be taught in the schools.
The National Consultation on the Vanuatu Intellectual Property (IP) Strategy for 2015 – 2017 was held over two days last week at the National Museum in Port Vila organized by Vanuatu IP Office to discuss a draft IP strategy for Vanuatu.
The draft strategy is the result of two studies – the Baseline Study conducted in 2012 and the Needs Assessment study in 2013.
The Strategic Plan aims to achieve 4 goals and 13 objectives. One of the goals is building capacity for the IP Office under the Ministry of Trade and Industries including staffing, training, equipment and registration of IPs.
For two years, Merilyn Temakon, the Registrar – Trademarks, Patents and Designs was the sole staff and also Head of the IP Office. Today she has a legal officer and two trademarks officers. She said that since the office was established in January, 2012, it has dealt with 600 applications for new trademarks registrations and renewals.
Vanuatu Daily Post
2) Trial Begins In Police Killing During Samoa Drug Raid
Senior police officers, names not publicized, give evidence
By Tulifau Auvaa
APIA, Samoa (Talamua, May 13, 2014) – The young father of seven from Faleatiu village, who was shot and killed during a police raid 7 May 2012, was not at the house that the police targeted. His dead body however, was found outside the neighbouring house.
This was explained by two senior police officers who were in the first police vehicle that targeted the two storey house.
The senior officers are the first to give evidence in the trial that started today infront of District Court Judge Vaepule Vaemoa Vaai who ordered that the officers names and identities not be publicized.
The deceased, Rapi Sialei Lelevaga, 31 years old man from the village of Faleatiu, who lives with his parents and his wife with 7 children, and works as a farmer. He was born on the 20 of August in 1980.
According to Sialei’s mother, Kueni Lelevaga Sialei, 49 years old and mother of 12 children, she heard gunshots around 6 to 7am in the morning and she woke up her husband and children and she saw police cars on the road in front of their house.
“The sound of gunshots still continued and she hid her children inside their next room, but some of her children went outside while gunshots were still being fired at that time.”
She told the Court that after the police raid, she told her other daughter to bring the broom to clean their house which was littered with pieces of glass from the broken windows. Then she heard her daughter’s voice saying that Sialei is dead. She went inside their room and she saw Sialei’s body was lying on the ground then they took him to the hospital.”
The two senior police officers told the court that their target was the two storey house. As soon as they parked in front of the house, someone started firing at them from the top floor. One of the shots landed on the front of the vehicle which forced them to open the doors and ran for protection behind what looked like a workshop.
The police officers did not say whether they returned any gunshots.
There are 26 police officers who will give evidence in the court case that started from an incident that saw one villager dead and two police officers wounded and two police vehicles badly damaged from gunshots.
The case continues tomorrow.
3) GovGuam’s New Pay Scale Brings Rash Of Grievances
Nearly 25% of Education employees challenge implementation
By Amanda Francel Blas
HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, May 14, 2014) – Out of the Department of Education’s close to 4,000 employees, 983 have filed grievances over the implementation of the Competitive Wage Act, which adjusted the government of Guam’s pay scale.
“All of them moved through the department’s review process, so they should be with the Civil Service Commission by now,” DOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez said.
When the Competitive Wage Act was implemented in February, 2,113 educators received pay raises, raising concerns about how the pay raises affected those with seniority.
To address concerns with the implementation of the Competitive Wage Act, Fernandez said, the Department of Administration has set up an appeal and review process.
“We have informed employees of this option, and if they’d like us to assist in going forward with an appeal, we can,” Fernandez said.
However, Fernandez said some of the education department’s employees have opted to use the grievance process.
This includes members of the Guam Federation of Teachers, with the union’s contract dictating the use of the grievance process, according to GFT President Tim Fedenko.
Fedenko said its members are currently going through hearings with the Civil Service Commission.
“The teachers’ step are being lowered by the new Competitive Wage Act, so we believe they have been demoted,” Fedenko said. “This is why we’re moving forward with the grievances.”
Concerns about the new pay scale extend beyond the school system.
The Office of Public Accountability is one of the government agencies that will appeal to the Department of Administration over inadequacies in implementing the Hay Study.
“Even with the implementation of the Hay Study in February 2014, the salary levels for OPA audit supervisors is still not competitive to salaries offered by GWA and other autonomous agencies,” Public Auditor Doris Flores Brooks said.
The pay grades were created through a study conducted by the Hay Group in 2010, during the Camacho administration. The Department of Administration’s human resources division further adjusted the Hay Group’s plan under the Calvo administration, which is now in the last year of its four-year term.
The Hay Group acknowledged that its revised pay scale still is below the national average for those jobs, but said GovGuam cannot afford to pay nationally competitive salaries.
Employees have 90 days from March 4 to file an appeal to their supervisors.
GovGuam agency supervisors who receive appeals will review the documents before sending them to the agency head, who can deny the request.
The employee, however, can appeal with the Administration Department, the appeal form states.
The Department of Administration will start accepting those forms in early June to start the review process at the agency.
Because of the low pay the OPA doesn’t have enough skilled auditors to issue as many audits as she would like to do, Brooks said, noting her office staff conducted only six audits last year. Financial audits are contracted out.
Brooks said her office paid a personnel consultant to re-evaluate the office’s positions descriptions and propose higher compensation.
“We will join a number of agencies that are appealing to the Department of Administration inadequacies in the Hay Study,” she said.
The study will be given to the governor and the Legislature for their review and approval, she said.
Department of Public Works Director Carl Dominguez said as of this week no one had filed an appeal with him. But he said that could change as the deadline to file appeal is in the coming weeks.
Pacific Daily News
4) Three Opposition MPs In Nauru Suspended For Talking To Media
Chaos erupts in Parliament as speaker calls police to remove MPs
MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, May 14, 2014) – Three opposition MPs in Nauru have been suspended from parliament for “talking too much to foreign media”, including the ABC.
Former foreign minister Dr Kieren Keke was disciplined, along with Roland Kun and Mathew Batsiua, over interviews with overseas news organisations.
The three had been critical of the government in foreign media over several issues the dismissal of chief magistrate Peter Law, and barring Chief Justice Geoffrey Eames from returning to the country.
Dr Keke has told Pacific Beat the government’s moves have not gone down well in Nauru.
“The response that I got from my constituency and people in general in Nauru was overwhelming yesterday following the sitting,” he said.
“There’s certainly a groundswell of support for myself and the other two members and certainly a lot of criticism from the public against the government for this latest manoeuvre.”
Mr Kun and Mr Batsiua were out of the country during yesterday’s parliament sitting.
Dr Keke says after the government passed the suspension motion, he refused to leave.
“When we resumed, I remained in my seat, and I told the speaker that the motion was out of order – it’s baseless, has no substance, and I wasn’t going to comply with it,” he said.
“The speaker, he decided to ask the Nauru police force to enter the chamber and remove me.
“It was at that point there were a number of members of parliament stood up and barricaded myself from police and there was a bit of stand off that carried off for some time.”
Justice Minister David Adeang called for the suspension, saying the comments in foreign were damaging Nauru’s development.
Dr Keke says the government controls what is being reported in local media, and wants to do the same thing overseas.
“This motion to suspend three members of the opposition is not because they truly believe we are damaging Nauru’s development – that’s a load of rubbish,” he said.
“This is about gagging members of parliament.
“They don’t want criticism, they don’t want scrutiny – they want to turn Nauru into something like North Korea.”
Parliament was adjourned until Wednesday morning, but Dr Keke says he will continue to attend.
The ABC is seeking government comment.
5) Adam Goodes urges support for constitutional recognition of Indigenous people
Updated 13 May 2014, 19:17 AEST
By Antonette Collins
Australian of the Year Adam Goodes has urged fellow Australians to get behind a campaign for recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the constitution.
The AFL star spoke at the We Want Recognition event at Sydney’s Wayside Chapel on Tuesday in an effort to increase public awareness about constitutional change.
“There’s nothing in the constitution right now – not a single word – that mentions that anyone was here in 1788. So we need to acknowledge that simple fact,” the Sydney Swans player said.
Goodes said achieving recognition was a personal issue for him as his mother was a member of the stolen generation and many of his family members were displaced, leaving unanswered questions about his heritage.
“It’s been a tough journey. It’s been a journey that my mum and my aunties have been on for over 40 years of their life to try and find out where they’d come from,” he said.
“This document is 113 years old and times have changed. Back when it was written, officialdom thought of Aboriginal people as a dying race, today the majority of Australians know how essential the unique Indigenous cultures are to our nation’s very identity, so we need our constitution to catch up.
“So we need to fix the silence of our history in this founding document to reflect to future generations that Australia’s history doesn’t just start suddenly in 1788 with the establishment of the British colony.”
In 2012 the Federal Government’s expert panel recommended an Australian referendum be held to amend the Constitution to recognise Australia’s first peoples.
Senior Australian of the Year and former Aboriginal affairs minister Fred Chaney was on the expert panel and said the wording of any referendum would be of particular importance if it was going to succeed.
There’s nothing in the constitution right now – not a single word – that mentions that anyone was here in 1788. So we need to acknowledge that simple fact
Australian of the Year Adam Goodes
“The experience of referendums is they’re very hard to win – we’ve only won eight in the whole history of Australia. So the work that’s currently being done in parliament to produce, if possible, unanimity in the parliament is a very important step in this process,” he said.
“I think there are two critical groups to keep on board. One is the Aboriginal leadership right round the country which needs to be satisfied this is good for the Indigenous people of Australia.
“And I think that Australian conservatives need to be satisfied that this is a real improvement to the constitution and not in any way a subversion of it.
“There are many conservatives who would be in favour of recognition of Indigenous people in the constitution but are worried by any suggestion of anything that smells like a bill of rights. And I think that’s the issue that the parliamentary committee would be grappling with.”
Mr Chaney said while there was seemingly bipartisan political support for a referendum and constitutional recognition, increasing public awareness about the issue was also vital.
It’s been a tough journey. It’s been a journey that my mum and my aunties have been on for over 40 years of their life to try and find out where they’d come from
Australian of the Year Adam Goodes
“The public is naturally focused at the moment, for example, on its particular financial interests, on the economy. But I think we do need to get the Australian people to see this as something that is important for all of them,” he said.
“This is not something that is just for Indigenous people, this is for all of us to actually have a constitution which reflects the reality of Australia today and the reality of our history.”
The Recognise movement was set up to increase awareness of the issue and so far over 180,000 people have supported its website.
But Goodes said much more support was needed to bring constitutional recognition to fruition, including support from Aboriginal people.
“It’s going to take an ever bigger groundswell of popular support for our political leaders to confidently lock in a referendum date,” he said.
“I think we need all our brothers and sisters, aunties and uncles to support this movement because I think a lot of Australian people wouldn’t get behind this if the Aboriginal people didn’t want this for ourselves.”
A draft model of possible referendum questions was expected to be released later this year.Radio Australia
6) Budget 2014: Young unemployed to work for the dole, university students to pay more
Updated 14 May 2014, 6:47 AEST
By Penny McLintock
Young people will be forced to earn, learn or “work for the dole” under changes the Government says will prevent Australians becoming reliant upon welfare.
From January, new jobseekers under 30 will have to wait up to six months before receiving unemployment benefits, and will then have to participate in Work for the Dole.
They will have to do at least 25 hours per week of Work for the Dole activities in order to receive payments for six months.
The new Work for the Dole program will be phased in from July, with job seekers aged between 18 and 30 years, who have been unemployed for 12 months and receiving payments, forced to do 15 hours per week for six months.
The changes will apply in selected areas for the next year until the program is expanded in July 2015.
Also from next year, unemployed people under 25 will no longer qualify for Newstart and instead will have to apply for the lower benefit rate of Youth Allowance.
The changes will save the Government $1.2 billion over the four-year forward estimates period.
“We sell our young people short if we allow them to drift into welfare dependency,” Minster for Employment Eric Abetz said in a statement released in the budget lockup.
“The new Work for the Dole program will help young job seekers gain the skills and experience they need to move from welfare to work as soon as possible, while also making a positive contribution to their local community.”
What are your thoughts on Work for the Dole and students paying more for higher education? Have your say.
Students to pay more for higher education
Under changes to higher education, more students will receive financial help, but they will also have to pay more for their degrees.
Universities will be able to set their own tuition fees from 2016, which will inevitably allow some course costs to rise.
The Government is also increasing student loan interest rates to reflect the cost of Government borrowing. The rates will be allowed to rise to up to 6 per cent, instead of being set at the the rate of inflation – currently sitting at 2.9 per cent.
And from July 2016, students will have to pay back their loans sooner, with repayments starting when they earn over $50,638 a year.
For students already studying, existing arrangements will remain until the end of 2020.
But for the first time, the Federal Government will provide financial assistance for all students studying diploma and bachelor degree courses at approved higher education institutions, including TAFE and private colleges.
And, from July, those learning a trade will also be able to apply for loans of up to $20,000 over a four-year apprenticeship. But apprentices will lose grants offered under the $914 million program Tools for your Trade, set up under Labor.
“We give people loans to help them complete a university course, so it is only right that those completing a trade qualification get the same fair go,” Treasurer Joe Hockey said in his speech to parliament tonight.
Mr Hockey said Australia’s higher education sector was currently being held back and was unable to compete with the best in the world.
“With greater autonomy, universities will be free to compete and improve the quality of the courses they offer,” he said.
Universities will be required to put 20 per cent of their extra tuition revenue towards a new scholarship scheme to help those from disadvantaged backgrounds get a degree.
Loan fees for FEE-HELP and VET FEE-HELP will also be removed for undergraduate students.
And a new website will be set up next year, similar to MySchool, to compare universities, employment outcomes and student satisfaction.
Mr Hockey says Australia should aim to have at least one university in the top 20 in the world and more in the top 100.
“We must build an education and training system that becomes the envy of the world,” he said.Radio Australia
7) ABC, SBS cut by $43.5 million
By Online Editor
5:17 pm GMT+12, 14/05/2014, Australia
Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott has broken his election promise:”No cuts to the ABC or SBS.”
But the government’s budget cuts to the national broadcasters – combined savings of $43.5 million over four years – are gentler than those expected by ABC and SBS management.
As recently as a month ago, the government was considering applying efficiency dividends to the broadcasters, which would have cut $204 million from the ABC and $46 million from SBS over the next four years, a government source said. Instead, the ABC will lose about $35 million and SBS about $8 million.
However, the budget documents contain an ominous phrase that will leave ABC managing director Mark Scott and the GetUp! activists protesting outside Parliament House on Tuesday bracing for deeper cuts in years to come. The budget papers describe the initial cuts as a “down payment” on the ABC and SBS efficiency study – a continuing exercise to find ways to run the two broadcasters at lower costs.
It is understood Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull will demand harsher cuts over coming years but they will be informed by “back office” savings as he has promised not to harm ABC programming.
As expected, the government will terminate the ABC’s $223million contract to run the Australia Network over 10 years. The government will save $196.8million by abolishing the “soft diplomacy” television service, which was designed to promote Australian values in Asia.
The government will cut $3.3million over four years from the Australian Communications and Media Authority. The ACMA will also be hit via the 2.5 per cent efficiency dividend – a series of compounding cuts – that applies to most government agencies.
Despite making cuts across government, Abbott has found $10million to “enhance online safety for children.” This funding includes $2.4 million to establish a Children’s e-Safety Commissioner. The program has been championed by the parliamentary secretary for communications, Paul Fletcher, and Turnbull’s name was conspicuously absent from the government’s media release on Tuesday.
The government will honour its election commitment and provide $100million over four years to mobile and wireless broadband coverage in regional areas. The government will try to boost the funding of its Mobile Black Spot Program by asking for co-contributions from industry and state, territory and local governments.
In keeping with the government’s philosophy of “smaller government”, Turnbull will abolish the Telecommunications Universal Service Management Agency, and its functions will be transferred to the Communications Department.
SOURCE: AUSTRALIA NETWORK NEWS/PACNEWS
8) More than 2,500 jobs axed at ATO, Foreign Affairs Department
Updated 14 May 2014, 20:46 AEST
More than 2,500 jobs will be cut at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and the Australian Tax Office (ATO) as a result of the federal budget.
Video: Canberra facing savage job cuts
More than 2,500 jobs will be cut at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and the Australian Tax Office (ATO) as a result of the federal budget.
Department heads are starting to break the bad news to public servants about the coming wave of job losses.
The ATO is the worst hit, with 2,100 people to go by the end of October.
Staff at DFAT have been warned to expect a reduction of about 500 jobs in the next two years.
In an email to staff, DFAT secretary Peter Varghese has described the forward planning as challenging.
He said last night’s budget requires DFAT to find approximately $110 million in savings in the 2014-15 financial year, out of a total of about $400 million over the four-year forward estimates period.
The email notes the funding reduction in the budget papers includes the integration of AusAID and more efficiency in the delivery of the aid program.
“A large portion of this savings amount will have to be found through a substantial reduction in the department’s staffing profile,” Mr Varghese wrote.
The 500 positions expected to be cut will slice an estimated 12 per cent off the department’s current 4,215 staff.
Mr Varghese has warned the sections providing corporate services and delivering or supporting the delivery of the aid programs are predicted to be the worst hit.
“At this stage, I remain hopeful that we can manage the reduction in staff numbers without recourse to involuntary redundancies, which I regard as a last resort only,” he wrote.
The department has predicted about 200 staff will leave through voluntary redundancies by June 30 and further departures are expected next financial year.
ATO preparing to do more with less staff
The ATO is also expecting savage cuts following the release of the budget papers.
Commissioner of Taxation Chris Jordan has written to staff explaining 2,100 jobs will be axed, which is on top of 900 jobs currently being shed.
By the end of the four-year forward estimates a total of 4,700 people would have lost their jobs.
A further 300 ATO positions will move to Gosford on the New South Wales central coast where a new government building is being established.Radio Australia
9) Budget 2014: Axe falls on foreign aid spending, nearly $8 billion in cuts over next five years
By Karen Barlow
Updated Tue 13 May 2014, 9:40pm AEST
Related Story: Hockey tightens nation’s belts in ‘contribute and build’ budget
Australian foreign aid spending is being cut by $7.6 billion over the next five years, in the biggest savings measure in the 2014 budget.
The Government says it is re-shaping the aid program to ensure it will reduce poverty and promote economic development, at the same time helping the budget return to surplus.
The budget confirms substantial savings are being made by slowing the growth in overseas aid over the next four years.
Australian foreign aid will be capped at $5 billion over the next two financial years.
In a surprise move, $2 billion has been removed from the projected foreign aid budget in 2017/18.
In 2016-17, foreign aid will grow in line with the Consumer Price Index.
Tying aid to the rate of inflation fulfils a Coalition election promise and removes the decades-old practice of measuring aid as a percentage of Gross National Income.
Prior to the 2014 budget, there was bipartisan support to lift aid levels to 0.5 per cent of Gross National Income. However both Labor and the Coalition delayed the financial year when this was expected to be spent.
Australia has international obligations under the Millennium Development Goals to spend 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income on effective aid by 2020.
The budget also reveals spending on aid delivery by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) will be capped at 5 per cent of its total budget.
Savings in the Australian aid budget have also been found by reversing the decisions to join the African Development Bank Group and the International Fund for Agricultural Development.
The Federal Government says it is saving $397.2 million over four years through efficiencies related to the merger of the Australian aid agency AusAID with DFAT.
Performance benchmarks will be applied to the Australian aid program after the budget to ensure performance, results and value for money.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is to receive $6.4 million over two years to spend on measures to prevent people smuggling.
The money will pay for a dedicated position in Sri Lanka, continued funding for the Ambassador for People Smuggling Issues, and the cost of Australia’s participation in the annual Bali Process meetings.
The Government has set aside $300,000 over two years to support the work of the Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Reintroduction Project in Indonesia.
The support, through the Melbourne Zoo, will enable the release of approximately 60 orangutans back into the wild, as well as 12 months of follow-up monitoring.
The Australian Council For International Development says the foreign aid figures for most recipient countries are steady.
Executive director Marc Purcell says most of the $375 million that Labor diverted to onshore immigration costs in the 2013/14 budget has been returned to the Australian aid program.
There has been an increase to aid to Papua New Guinea in return for hosting the Manus Island immigration processing centre. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-05-13/budget-2014-axe-falls-on-foreign-aid-spending/5450844
10) Detention centres closed, foreign aid frozen
14 May 2014
Refugees and foreign aid
The Abbott government will save up to $2.5 billion from stopping asylum-seeker boats and close six more onshore detention centres, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said.
The closure of the centres will save the budget $283 million over four years.
Mr Morrison also said the government would place a greater priority on the business visa program as a direct result of freeing up immigration funds.
Some 68 per cent or 128,550 of Australia’s 190,000 places are taken up by skilled migrants.
“With the reprioritisation towards employer-sponsored visas, employers will be assisted in finding workers to fill vital positions where they have been unable to find local workers,’’ Mr Morrison said in a statement.
Mr Morrison said the government would offer an additional 4000 places a year in its special humanitarian intake.
“The additional places for families of offshore humanitarian entrants . . . are the humanitarian dividend of the government’s successful border protection policies of stopping the boats,’’ Mr Morrison said.
The drop-off in arrivals, which was running as high as 4000 a month under Labor in 2013, will result in a further six Australian detention facilities closed by June 30 next year, saving the budget $283 million.
Operations will cease at Darwin’s Northern Immigration Detention Centre, Darwin Airport centre, Inverbrackie in South Australia and the Aqua and Lilac facilities on Christmas island.
From 2015, Western Australia’s Curtin Detention Centre will also be closed.
The budget also commits $711 million over six years to fund a single frontline border protection service known as the Australian Border Force, which was announced before the budget.
Foreign aid spending will be cut though. The budget confirms Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s decision to abandon Australia’s commitment to increase foreign aid to 0.5 per cent of gross national income.
The budget papers say a decision to freeze foreign aid at $5 billion for the next two years, and to grow it in line with the consumer price index in the final two years, will save the budget $7.5 billion.
Australia had originally agreed to meet the 0.5 per cent target as part of a commitment to meet a United Nations poverty reduction target.
“The government is delivering an aid program the country can responsibly afford,’’ Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said.
Ms Bishop said as part of aid funding cuts, Australia would not join the African Development Bank Group and International Fund for Agricultural Development.
The Australian Financial Review
BY John Kerin
11) Australia i inkrisim aid moni long Pacific long interes blong en yet: Paul Barker
Postim 14 May 2014, 17:25 AEST
Executive direkta blong Institute of National Afeas long PNG, Paul Barker itok Australia i inkrisim aid moni long Pacific long wanem em i gat interes long ol yet.
Australia bai go het yet long halvim PNG bikpela
Odio: Executive direkta blong Institute of National Afeas long PNG, Paul Barker i toktok
Mr Barker i mekim dispela toktok bihain Australia itokaut olsem em bai katim budget oa moni emi save givim igo long ol narapla kantri long 10 percent, em samting olsem $7.6 billion long despla faifpla yia ikam.
Tasol moni emi bai save givim long ol kantri long Pacific rijan bai go antap long $637 million na despla bai apim moni igo long $966 million, na bai oli apim moa iet long despla tripla yia ikam.
Mr Barker itok wanpla bikpla wok em Australia igat nau long Pacific rijan em tupla Australian asylum ditensan senta long Papua New Guinea na Nauru.
Em i tok dispela i bikpela samting we Australia imas givim moni long en.
Mr Barker i tok Australia ino laik lukim tu ol failed state we igat planti kraim na loa na oda problem long ol kantri klostuklostu so em i mas givim moni long stretim ol kainkain heve i stap.Radio Australia
12) Wanpela i dai long Bougainville long sorcery pasin
Postim 14 May 2014, 17:38 AEST
Ol ibin kilim idai wanpela man na kisim tripela narapela olsem hostage insait long Bana district bilong South Bougainville tripela wik igo pinis.
Wanpela man i dai long sorcery pasin long Bougainville
Odio: Aloysious Laukai bilong New Dawn FM long Buka i toktok long sorcery birua long Bougainville
Despela birua ibin kamap bihainim dai bilong wanpela meri we lain bilong meri i sutim tok long despela man oli kilim longen ibin wokim puripuri or sorcery.
Aloysious Laukai bilong New Dawn FM long Buka i tok pasin bilong bilip long sorcery iwok long kamap strong yet insait long Bana district bilong South Bougainville.
Em itok- lain bilong despela meri idai longen ibin igo insait long Nokaia village na kisim fopela (4) man hostage na karim ol igo long village bilong ol na kililim wanpela long ol na holim tripela narapela yet olsem hostage.
Mr Laukai i tok ol poli i rilisim pinis ol hostage ia na tupela long ol i kisim bagarap na ol i kisim go long haus sik long haus sik.
13) Brèves d’Australie et du Pacifique – mercredi 14 mai 2014
Mis à jour 14 May 2014, 14:45 AEST
Un parfum de réconciliation entre Tonga et la Nouvelle-Zélande: Murray Mc Cully, le ministre kiwi des Affaires étrangères, rencontre Samiu Vaipulu, le ministre du Transport, aujourd’hui à Nuku’alofa. Au centre des discussions : le MA 60.
La Chine a offert cet avion à Tonga en juillet 2013. Objectif : remplacer l’avion de la compagnie néo-zélandaise Chathams Pacific, qui a cessé ses vols à Tonga. Mais selon la Nouvelle-Zélande, le MA 60 est un cercueil volant. Le gouvernement kiwi recommande à ses citoyens de ne pas monter dedans. Et il a aussi suspendu son aide au développement du tourisme à Tonga. Depuis, le tourisme est en chute libre dans le pays.
Bougainville crée son propre service public aujourd’hui. Cette région de Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée fait un pas supplémentaire vers plus d’autonomie, comme le prévoit l’Accord de Paix de Bougainville, signé en 2001 après la guerre civile. Le Conseil des Anciens aura un rôle-clé dans cette nouvelle fonction publique bougainvillaise.
Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée: la toute première cargaison de gaz naturel liquéfié sera exportée d’ici quelques jours vers un pays asiatique – en Chine, au Japon ou à Taïwan, on ne sait pas encore. Le Premier ministre assiste aujourd’hui à la cérémonie officielle pour fêter cette toute première production à l’usine principale d’Exxon Mobil, près de Port-Moresby. L’exploitation du gaz naturel liquéfié est le plus gros projet industriel qu’ait connu le pays. La production prendra son rythme de croisière en juin.
Îles Cook: l’opposition se dit ouverte à l’exploitation minière des fonds marins. Le député Wilkie Rasmussen a participé cette semaine à une réunion avec les autorités locales et des compagnies minières, à Rarotonga. Selon lui, les Îles Cook sont suffisamment matures pour gérer les profits de l’exploitation minière sous-marine, mais il demande plus de consultation sur les risques environnementaux.
Îles Salomon: il faudra 160 à 190 jours pour faire baisser le niveau des déchets miniers à la mine d’or de Gold Ridge.Les inondations d’avril ont fait monter l’eau contaminée. Les digues de retenue pourraient céder. Et les eaux sont lourdement polluées, bourrées, entre autres, de cyanure et d’arsenic. Pour faire baisser le niveau, il faudra fortement diluer, petit à petit, ces litres d’eau polluée pour minimiser l’impact sur l’environnement.
Vanuatu: la communauté lesbienne, gay, bisexuelle et transsexuelle n’est pas la bienvenue. Le Conseil Chrétien des Églises milite contre la reconnaissance des droits des LGBT. Le Président de l’association des LGBT, Gilio Baxter, veut convaincre les chefs, le clergé, les juges et le gouvernement de donner des droits à la communauté LGBT vanuataise. Mais l’évêque James Ligo affirme que « la Constitution vanuataise est fondée sur des valeurs chrétiennes et mélanésiennes ». Il estime que les LGBT divisent la société.
14) Pacific Islanders missing out on Australian tertiary education, study finds
Updated 14 May 2014, 20:40 AEST
A new study has found Pacific Islander students with New Zealand citizenship are five times less likely to go to university after finishing school than their Australian counterparts.
Pacific Islander students with New Zealand citizenship are five times less likely to go to university after finishing school than their Australian counterparts, a study has found.
Researchers from Griffith University in Queensland say family pressure, cultural issues and a focus on sport rather than education are just some of the factors blocking the path to tertiary learning.
Professor Lesley Chenoweth, head of Griffith University’s Logan campus, says the problem is compounded by citizenship issues.
“Many of them are affected by the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangements and come in on a special category visa – as do all New Zealand citizens – so that means they’re not eligible for social security or Centrelink [welfare] or indeed study support,” she said.
For students like Sefo Masame a university degree can come at a big economic cost.
“My dad is the only one working at the moment. I do some work but he’s the one providing for all of us,” he said.
You can have your sport but it’s not at the exclusion of doing well in education.
Dr Judith Kearney, Griffith University
“Even though I told him that if he needs me to defer my uni… but he told me, ‘No, do your university, get your education because the rewards will come at the end.'”
Dr Judith Kearney, director of Griffith University’s community partnerships program, says cultural factors can also influence a person’s decision when considering university.
“Masculinity in the Pacific cultures is a very interesting construct and I think the stereotype of ‘the footballer’ interferes to a large degree with how we see being male in Pacific cultures,” she said.
“And I think what we’ve got to say is that, ‘Yes you can have your sport but it’s not at the exclusion of doing well in education.'”
In response, the university has been promoting sport as a way to entice more Pacific Islander students.
Many students say it’s working.
“Now a lot of Polynesian guys, not even just Polynesian guys, just guys in general, are aspiring to want to play sport and at the same time they know they can study on the side,” Senetenari Tamala said.
But Professor Chenoweth says huge challenges remain.
“We need Pacifica teachers, we need Pacifica business people, we need Pacific nurses and mid-wives to be at the Logan Hospital here where so much of the work here is with that population,” she said.Radio Australia
15) Education standard
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
THE standard of education in Fiji can be improved and political parties and independent candidates need to use the public platforms they have to promote better education for Fijians.
This should include education which was seen to reflect gender equality.
This was one of the concerns raised by the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre (FWCC) this month, when asked about issues politicians needed to address while campaigning for the 2014 election.
“There is significant anecdotal evidence that the standards of education in Fiji have been declining,” claimed FWCC executive director Shamima Ali.
“At the post-secondary level, there is an emphasis on academic education as opposed to technical/vocational training. Low salaries for teachers (which include a significant proportion of women) mean that the best graduates prefer to join the private sector.”
Ms Ali said although education was now free, political parties and independent candidates should be aware that there were other things to consider in this regard.
“While the current government has recently made schooling free, other costs such as uniforms, shoes and stationery continue to be prohibitive for some parents in the lowest socioeconomic strata.
“Also, cultural and social biases still exist against girls being allowed to access higher education, or education in technical/vocational fields.”
Ms Ali suggested that parties and independent candidates could even consider providing scholarships or incentives to girls to increase skills training in technical areas.
“And also review school curricula to ensure that the curricula reflects gender equality.”Fijitimes.
16) Power-sharing talks in New Caledonia
14 May 2014
New Caledonia’s three anti-independence parties have been in talks to hammer out an arrangement on who should be in charge of the territorial government, the Congress and the government of the southern province.
This follows last Sunday’s election in which the three jointly secured an overall majority in the territory’s Congress and in the assembly of the southern province.
The northern and Loyalty Islands province retained their pro-independence majorities.
There has been no announcement on who the loyalist camp will pick to head the southern province when the new provincial assembly meets on Friday.
There is an expectation that the most successful party, the Caledonia Together, will opt to run the southern province, with the leadership of the Congress and the territorial government going to the two others.
None of the three parties is likely to strike a deal with the pro-independence camp for the territorial top positions.
For three years, Caledonia Together was sidelined because the other loyalists found an arrangement with the pro-independence camp to give it the Congress presidency.Radio NZ
17) Vanuatu PM not troubled by no confidence motion
14 May 2014
Vanuatu’s prime minister, Moana Carcasses, claims he will easily defeat a motion of no confidence against him tomorrow because he has the backing of 35 of the 52 MPs.
Mr Carcasses says the motion, the fourth brought against him since he came to power a little over a year ago, has the backing of only 13 MPs.
He says his opponents are wrong to claim the planned airport development, new roading and changes to immigration will ruin the country.
Mr Carcasses says the Capital Investment Immigration Plan is linked with citizenship and the real estate development programme.
He says many countries are doing the same thing.
“I understand in the Pacific, Fiji is on the verge of starting its own, also with Samoa. They [the Opposition] are saying there was no due diligence done on that. Again I reject that allegation. We have done everything. The CIIP programme was led by our officials and everything was done properly and I am glad that the project is starting now and having lots of, what you call, support from people from China.”
Vanuatu’s prime minister, Moana Carcasses,Radio NZ
18) PNG Government eyes law to ban firm
By Online Editor
6:03 pm GMT+12, 14/05/2014, Papua New Guinea
The Papua New Guinea Government will legislate to outlaw the Sir Mekere Morauta-led PNG Sustainable Development Program Ltd (PNGSDP), Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says.
His media release yesterday confirmed a report by The National last week which quoted a well-placed source as saying that legislative control of the embattled PNGSDP was the government’s final option in its quest to control the company’s assets worth billions of kina.
O’Neill refuted Sir Mekere’s statement that PNGSDP was a “private Singapore company” and therefore could not be investigated by an inquiry in Papua New Guinea.
Sir Mekere had said that in response to the Prime Minister’s announcement on Monday that a commission of inquiry would be set up to investigate the company, including the recent sale of its assets.
O’Neill said Sir Mekere had treated the Parliament, the Government, and the people of the Western with contempt.
“Sir Mekere Morauta’s arrogant attitude towards the ownership and accountability of the PNG Sustainable Development Program has defied belief,” O’Neill said.
“The PNGSDP was supposed to manage the profits of the Ok Tedi mine for the direct benefit of the Western people, and the nation as a whole.
“It was set up by an Act of Parliament which Sir Mekere rushed through when he was prime minister. The same process gave BHP Billiton an unlimited immunity from civil or other action for damage caused by the mine when BHP Billiton owned and managed it.”
O’Neill said a body set up by Papua New Guinea law surely must be accountable within PNG.
“Therefore; we will legislate if necessary to make sure that accountability happens,” he said.
“Sir Mekere’s behaviour is appalling.
“As a former Prime Minister, he should be ashamed of his refusal to be accountable – which includes being accountable for his own spending.”
A company spokesman said Sir Mekere would respond after the Government released the terms of reference of the proposed commission of inquiry.
SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS
19) Bougainville Launches Its Own Public Service
Handover from PNG part of Bougainville Peace Agreement
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, May 14, 2014) – The chief administrator in Papua New Guinea’s Bougainville says the launch of its own public service today will greatly benefit locals
Running its own public service is a cornerstone of the Bougainville Peace Agreement but Port Moresby has, until now, not handed down the powers because it had deemed the province lacked the capacity.
Chris Siriosi says the province has been laying the groundwork for today’s development for the past two years.
He says it is something to be proud about and will mean improved services for Bougainvilleans.
“As far as I am concerned I think it will mean bringing public services right down to the grass roots level and making delivery of service much more effective and accountability to the system of local level government here in Bougainville,” says Siriosi.
Radio New Zealand International
20) PM Lilo wins appeal against High Court order
By Online Editor
2:34 pm GMT+12, 13/05/2014, Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo has won his appeal against a High Court order for him to disclose all financial records of how he spent the Gizo-Kolombangara Constituency’s Development Funds.
The Court of Appeal last Friday ruled the application filed by Danny Kennedy and others against PM Lilo had no reasonable prospect to succeed in its present form and ordered that it be struck out.
The Court ruled that any viable claim against the Prime Minister would only be determined on material placed before the Court establishing a clear basis for the claim.
Kennedy filed the case in 2012 asking the court to force PM Lilo to disclose financial records and other documentary evidence of how he spent, used, managed or administered the Rural Constituency Development Funds, Millennium Funds, Micro Project Livelihood, Tsunami Funds and other public funds from 2002-2012.
21) Bainimarama Denies Accusations Of Nearly $1 Million Salary
Fiji PM says he’s reveal information once party registration complete
SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, May 13, 2014) – Fiji’s Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has denied he receives a salary of $1.7 million [US$925,000].
Bainimarama did not reveal his salary but said the information will be available after his party’s registration is completed.
Addressing Rotumans on the island today, Bainimarama said the claims made by a political party that he earns a salary as such is part of the “culture of malice and deceit that unfortunately many of the older politicians and political parties have practiced and continue to practice.” “You will find out what my salary is after the registration of the proposed FijiFirst, when I will provide the declaration of my assets and liabilities to the Fijian Elections Office,” Bainimarama said.
The kind of campaigning he said must be rooted out and instead political parties must “campaign on the basis of honesty, sincerity, and love and affection and without any pretentions.” “This means telling all Fijians about your policies in a positive manner.
This means not lying to win people’s favour.
This means putting the interests of all Fijian people and Fiji first, before your own political careers,” Bainimarama said.
“If we are all to progress as a nation and as a country and improve the lives of people, no matter where they are in Fiji, we must embrace leaders who are sincere, truly care for everyone irrespective of their ethnicity, religion, socio-economic background or gender.
“Leaders who have policies for development, modernization and improving the lives of all Fijians.” Bainimarama will stay on after today’s Rotuma Day celebration to meet with the Rotuma Island Council in a talanoa session tomorrow, followed by meetings with community representatives across Rotuma on Thursday before he returns to Suva.
The visit is his first since 2008.
22) FLP begins selection process, SODELPA to name candidates in June
By Online Editor
2:32 pm GMT+12, 13/05/2014, Fiji
The Fiji Labour Party (FLP) this week, starts with the interview and selections process for its candidates.
These candidates will be representing the party at the upcoming general elections on September 17.
This was confirmed by the party’s president, Lavinia Padarath, who said the board had considered applications from candidates wishing to contest the elections on the FLP ticket.
The party’s board had sorted out these applications during its meeting last week. It also resolved to write to President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau to register its protest against the Attorney- General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, continuing as the Minister Responsible for Elections.
FLP and the National Federation Party have called on Sayed- Khaiyum to resign from the ministerial post after he was listed as the proposed general secretary for the proposed FijiFirst party saying it has become a conflict of interest on his part.
The FLP has yet to decide who will be next leader following the conviction and sentencing of Mahendra Chaudhry a fortnight ago.
Another political party contesting the September elections in Fiji, the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) says it will release its list of candidates next month.
Secretary Pio Tabaiwalu said that they were in their final process of selecting their candidates for the September 17 general elections.
He said it would be taken up to the management first before being released to the general assembly on 06 June.
SOURCE: FIJI SUN/PACNEWS
23) Fiji TV sacking after regime call – PFF
14 May 2014
The media group Pacific Freedom Forum says a senior reporter at Fiji TV was sacked following a phone call from the attorney-general, Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum.
A journalist and publisher, Ricardo Morris, who is a former coordinator of PFF, says the veteran reporter Anish Chand had said at a meeting that the television company should source wider political views than ones that simply favour the government.
Photo: FIJI ONE
Mr Chand declined to comment on the matter, but Mr Morris says one of Mr Chand’s own colleagues undoubtedly called the authorities and shortly afterwards his contract was terminated on May the 3rd – World Press Freedom Day.
“And it is understood that somebody at that meeting or who heard about that meeting then passed the message on and then a phone call was made from the attorney general to the management of Fiji TV and the rest, as they say, is history.”
Ricardo Morris says he has just resigned his own position at PFF after feeling ongoing pressure from authorities.Radio NZ
24) Airliner planes to bring jet planes
The National, Tuesday May 13th, 2014
The management of Travel Air is looking at bringing in jet aircraft into the country as a long term goal.
Apart from the fleet of Fokker 50 propeller aircraft, Travel Air or “Mangi Lo Peles” has plans of introducing bigger and faster planes in the near future.
However, Travel Air chief executive officer Tafayel Siddique said at the moment they were looking at affordable, reliable and economical types of aircraft that will best suit Papua New Guinea and its travelling public.
“Competition is healthy, but at the end of the day, it’s the service people want and we want to make that happen,” Siddique said.
“Coincidently, Buka airport was closed down on the day Travel Air launched its services into the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.
“This was due to the civil unrest or landowner disputes that had landowners closing down Buka airport.
“Due to the civil unrest, Civil Aviation Safety Authority has suspended Travel Air’s operations into Buka pending investigations to find out if Travel Air was aware of the notice.”
Siddique said despite the ban into Buka, Travel Air’s operations continue as normal to other ports in the country.
25) Work on to revive old plantations
The National, Wednesday May 14th, 2014
By GABRIEL LAHOC
Agriculture and Livestock Minister Tommy Tomscoll said all rundown plantations around the country will be revived as part of the government’s renewed focus into the agriculture sector.
Tomscoll said that last week at Omo Barang, in Siassi, Morobe, where he and Tewai-Siassi MP and Minister for Fisheries and Marine Resources Mao Zeming jointly committed K1m each to revive the Gizarum cocoa plantation on Siassi Island, at a cost of K2m.
He said in the past, the country’s budget was largely funded by the agriculture sector which featured plantations operated by missions and foreign owned businesses. The government through DAL was serious in reviving the cocoa, copra, coffee and tea plantations.
He said the government, through the cocoa board, would partner and provide counterpart funding with every district that commits to reviving and improving cocoa plantations.
Tomscoll predicted a shortage on the world market next year by a million tonnes that would prompt prices to increase. He said the government through the department was venturing into investment in programmes for cocoa and coffee.
“When your plantation is in operation the money generated out of it will circulate here which is good,” he said.
“If you spend more time in the plantation the problems of law and order will go down,” he said.
Tomscoll, the MP for Middle-Ramu district, said a pilot project would be rolled out in 2015 in coconut plantations around the country to reintroduce the long, tall coconut species instead of the hybrid species, against foreign scientific advice.
26) Bank, Telstra inks deal
The National, Wednesday May 14th, 2014
By SHIRLEY MAULUDU
WESTPAC has signed a multi-million dollar deal with Telstra to provide domestic data network, primary internet access and outbound voice at Westpac branches in PNG and other Pacific Island nations.
The five year contract with Telstra, Australia’s largest telecommunications and media company, will include network connectivity, digital media solutions, Wi-Fi, audio conferencing and data centre connectivity.
Westpac Pacific communications consultant Evnike Yardley said they were pleased to rollout the new development at its Papua New Guinea subsidiary after signing a deal worth about A$100 million (K259 million) with Telstra.
“As a business we are pleased to have invested heavily in telecommunications infrastructure in PNG. We have redundant communications in our key sites and we utilise Telikom PNG’s (TPNG) MPLS (multi-protocol label switching) network where we can, and this will continue to improve as time progresses.
“We see the main benefit being the stability of continuing our relationship with our existing telecommunications partners in Papua New Guinea, that is Telstra, TPNG and Digicel, allowing us to focus on ensuring we have the best telecommunications systems in place to serve our customers.”
The exact value of the contract was not disclosed, but is likely to exceed K259.4 million.
Yardley said: “We are investing in a brand new data centre in our new head office in Port Moresby and we’re excited that our data centre goes live in June this year.”
“In Papua New Guinea, Westpac Pacific uses a combination of TPNG and Digicel for support to our branches and ATMs, and we use an international fibre link from PNG to Australia.
“We continue to use TPNG’s MPLS network in Port Moresby which has helped with our redundancy and stability and we continue to use Digicel as back up telecommunications in some of our key sites.”
27) Tensions Rise At New Caledonia Nickel Plant Protest
Residents calling for Vale processing plant to be closed
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, May 14, 2014) – There is rising tension at the Vale nickel processing plant in New Caledonia as people continue to protest amid calls for it to be permanently closed.
Operations have been suspended at the Goro plant for a week after 100,000 litres of effluent, containing some acid, ended up in a creek because of human error.
It is the fifth spill in five years to have occured there.
Local media reports tyres are being burnt along the road near the plant’s entrance, and anger is rising among residents.
The president of the Association for the Protection of Nature, Jean-Louis d’Auzon, says there was a meeting yesterday to discuss the issue.
“The chiefs of the tribes in South Province and some people of the tribes ask that the plant be closed. They are fed up with the problems with this plant.”
Jean-Louis d’Auzon says the government of the Southern Province, which is in charge of monitoring the plant, is yet to be set up properly after Sunday’s election.
He says this will mean any decisions on the plant will be delayed.
If the plant were to close, 14,000 jobs could be at stake.
Neither Vale nor representatives of the provincial government, could be reached for comment.
Radio New Zealand International
28) First Loading Of PNG Gas To Take Place Today
LNG shipment will head to Asian markets within days
By Ancilla Wrakuale
PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, May 14, 2014) – The loading of the first cargo of liquefied natural gas from the PNG LNG Project will take place today, the Parliament was told.
Treasurer Patrick Pruaitch said a ceremony will be held today at the LNG plant outside Port Moresby to signal the first LNG loading.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill will be there to officiate at the ceremony.
ExxonMobil PNG Ltd said the first LNG shipment to the Asian markets will occur several days after the loading, with a date yet to be confirmed.
When asked by Opposition how the revenue from the export of gas would help mitigate the declining kina value, Mr Pruaitch said revenue coming in will be parked in a trust account awaiting government and landowner instruments to be set up.
“Once we have the structures then funds will be remitted according to those entities,” Mr Pruaitch said.
Meanwhile, the Bank of Papua New Guinea recently cautioned the Government and other stakeholders not to raise expectations of windfall revenue inflows in the first year of production.
“Export receipts and revenue for the government may be minimal and therefore expectations of windfall revenue and any associated appreciation of the kina might not materialise in the near term,” the bank said.
The PNG LNG Project is the largest resource project ever undertaken in PNG.
The project is expected to produce more than nine trillion cubic feet of gas over an estimated 30 years of operations.
The gas will be sourced from the Hides, Angore and Juha gas fields in the Hela Province and from associated gas in the Kutubu, Agogo, Moran and Gobe gas fields in Southern Highlands Province.
The gas will be conditioned at the Hides gas conditioning plant in Hela Province and then transported by gas pipeline to an LNG plant located approximately 20km northwest of the main city of Port Moresby. ExxonMobil said the PNG LNG export terminal just outside Port Moresby will be a 24/7 operation. Ships will load every three to four days.
The gas will be exported to Asian markets in China, Japan and Taiwan. The US$19billion gas project is operated by ExxonMobil PNG Ltd, a subsidiary of ExxonMobil Corporation (33.2 percent). Other participants included Oil Search Ltd 29 percent, National Petroleum Company of PNG (PNG Government) – 16.8 percent, Santos 13.5 percent, Nippon Oil- 4.7 percent and Mineral Resources Development Company – PNG landowners – 2.8 percent.
29) Solomons Mobile Company Pays $1 Million In Outstanding Taxes
Bemobile hopes to clear all arrears by June
By Denver Newter
HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, May 14, 2014) – Minister of finance and treasury Rick Hou yesterday receives a cheque of $7.6 million [US$1.03 million] from Bemobile in outstanding goods tax paid directly to Inland Revenue Division (IRD).
The brief ceremony was held at National Parliament yesterday.
Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo was supposed to receive the payment but was too busy with the parliament meeting and could not receive it.
Niall Downey Bemobile’s chief executive officer (CEO) when presenting the payment said Bemobile agreed to make payment schedules with IRD in early 2014 but now felt its good time to bring the these payments forward.
“This would also help SI government with the recent devastation due to cyclone Ita,” Mr Downey said.
“Bemobile had worked closely with the tax department in the Solomon Island since 2013 to ensure we clear off out their outstanding tax bills and become corporate citizen and valuable contributor to the Solomon Islands economy.”
Mr Downey said the company hopes to clear off all its tax dues by June this year.
“Bemobile would like to thank the patience of the government and tax department who have demonstrated a rational and workable solution to this debt,” he said.
In response minister Hou thanked Bemobile for settling its outstanding dues with IRD.
“On half of the government through the ministry of finance I would like to thank Bemobile for this payment that would help our government as well as flood victims in Honiara,” he said.
Bemobile is the country’s second mobile provider in the country.
[PIR editor’s note: Earlier this year, unconfirmed reports surfaced that Bemobile’s competitor, Our Telekom, had not paid sales tax in five years and owned the government approximately $9.5 million.]
30 ) PNG Has Final Say On Which Refugees Stay: Immigration Minister
Comments contradict Australia’s stance that all will be resettled there
By Rimbink Pato
PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, May 14, 2014) – The National Government will decide who will or will not settle in the country, says Minister for Immigration Rimbink Pato.
This contradicts the comments made by Australian’s Immigration Minister Scott Morrison, when he said “everyone who’s found to be a refugee at Manus Island will be resettled in Papua New Guinea.”
Mr Pato was responding to questions on the comments made by Australian Immigration Minister Scott Morrison on the status of refugees in Manus.
He said despite an unknown number of asylum seekers entering our country with positive initial assessment for settlement, the Minister will still take advice from experts and choose refugees based on their professional skills.
There is an expert panel which is going to formulate the policy framework within which we will act and depending on what the recommendations are if they for example impose a quota and if they require a particular type of skilled person for resettlement those matters are for the cabinet to decide,” he said.
Refugees with positive refugee status assessment will remain while those with negative refugee status assessment will be sent to the review panel or be repatriated to his country.
The refugees are expected to arrive and resettle in PNG in July. But it is the Government of PNG that has the final say on who stays and who goes depending on the refugee status assessment.
WOMAN,YOUTH & CHILD
31) Women help progress nation
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
THE involvement of female leaders in politics, business, science and academics can help the country progress, says Australian High Commission second secretary Peter Lothian.
Speaking at the recent Women in Business networking luncheon in Suva last week, Mr Lothian said there were a lot of things that needed to change and a lot of work had to be done.
“There is a confidence gap between both genders. Women sometimes struggle to do this. They forget to back themselves — women get things done so be confident and if you don’t back yourself no one will,” he said.
“Majority of women who look at job applications read all the criteria and think, ‘well I don’t have one of those so I won’t apply’ whereas guys apply even when they know they don’t have all the skills. They have the confidence that they’ll just figure it out once you get there.”
Aliz Pacific managing partner Dr Nur Ali said women played a major role in society and were involved in a lot of activities.
“The role and responsibilities make them amazing. They have got a lot of skilful abilities and that is something that makes them unique and different.”Fijitimes
CLIMATE CHANGE,CONSERVATION & ENVIROMENT
32) Repairs On Flood Damaged Bridge In Honiara Begun
New Zealand is funding new Mataniko bridge
By Denver Newter
HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, May 14, 2014) – Work on reconnecting the old damaged Mataniko bridge has kicked off early this week.
The bridge was washed away during April 3 flash flooding.
Its understood work on the bridge kicked off before the arrival the barley bridge next week.
New Zealand government is supplying the new bridge.
Already work on placing ground and steel rods have been going on with the support from overseas and local engineers at the site.
A good number of people yesterday acknowledged the work to reconnect the bridge.
Over the past weeks, people have to cross the river by raft and boat at a cost of $2.00 [US$0.27].
Others have to walk further down to the main bridge to cross to Point Cruz or vice versa.
Traffic flow has also been affected by the washing away of the old bridge.
Once its up and reconnected, it would ease the current traffic flow problem in the city.
33) FIFA says World Cup an unfair target
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
RIO DE JANEIRO – Anti-World Cup campaigners in Brazil have threatened demonstrations during the showcase tournament next month but FIFA insists that it would be an unfair target.
Insecurity and fears of a repeat of demonstrations last year involving hundreds of thousands of people have bedevilled the buildup to the World Cup already hit by stadium delays.
FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke says Brazil has social problems and that new demonstrations cannot be ruled out but that people are wrong to say the $US11billion ($F19billion) cost is a waste of money.
“When people are saying that we have put something into the World Cup that they could use for other projects, they’re wrong,” Valcke said on FIFA.com.
“The World Cup is a way to speed up a number of investments in a country.
“It is easy to criticise FIFA, it’s easy to use the Confederations Cup or World Cup to organise demonstrations.
“But the target is wrong if the target is that FIFA are the reason for what’s happening in a country. If a country is bidding for a World Cup, it’s with the idea of developing the country and not with the idea of destroying the country.”
Anti-Cup protests have faded in recent months. But left wing and anarchist groups, who say the money could be better spent on health and education, have vowed to hold demonstrations during the World Cup which runs from June 12 until July 13.
34) FIFA WORLD CUP: Rooney name in England squad
By RASHNEEL KUMAR
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Update: 5:56PM IN the latest Nike advertisement, England striker Wayne Rooney is seen blasting through a parked bus in front of the goalmouth into the top corner.
The 15 seconds advertisement promoting the Nike footwear shows the Manchester United marksman blazing through the Brazilian defence to score that super goal.
He posted the advert on his Instagram account with the message “Want to know what to do when your opponent parks the bus? #riskeverything”.
Apparently Rooney, who has played in the 2006 and 2010 FIFA world cups, hasn’t enjoyed much success in his international career.
His performance with the Red Devils has made him the star he is today and probably one of the most prolific finishers in the game.
England coach Roy Hodgson has included Rooney in his 23-member squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Can the 28-year-old deliver like he did in the Nike advert?
Well, this may be his last world cup and surely he will be at his best to help end the long drought that England is facing in the world cup.
The Three Lions won its first and only world cup in 1966 and their best finish in the tournament recently was in 1990 where the side lost in the semi-finals.
Hodgson has named an interesting side for the 2014 world cup.
In defence, he has named players like Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart, Chelsea’s Gary Cahill and Everton’s Leighton Baines, who have had a good season in the English Premier League.
Warhorse Steven Gerrard will take control in midfield and will be assisted by another veteran Frank Lampard (Chelsea).
Rooney will spearhead the attack alongside the stunning Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool) and Danny Welbeck (Manchester United).
It is a good mix of experienced world cup campaigners and exciting rookies but if you look at the England group, the side will surely face an uphill battle in the preliminary rounds of play.
Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica stand on their way.
Goalkeepers: Fraser Forster (Celtic), Ben Foster (West Bromwich Albion), Joe Hart (Manchester City).
Defenders: Leighton Baines (Everton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Luke Shaw (Southampton), Chris Smalling (Manchester United).
Midfielders: Ross Barkley (Everton), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Adam Lallana (Southampton), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), James Milner (Manchester City), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Raheem Sterling (Liverpool), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal).
Forwards: Rickie Lambert (Southampton), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Danny Welbeck (Manchester United).
Standby: John Ruddy (Norwich City), Jon Flanagan (Liverpool), John Stones (Everton), Michael Carrick (Manchester United), Tom Cleverley (Manchester United), Andy Carroll (West Ham United), Jermain Defoe (Toronto FC).Fijitimes
35) Pepes achieved goal: Iamo
By Online Editor
5:49 pm GMT+12, 14/05/2014, Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea Pepes coach Annie Iamo said they had accomplished their goal after taking part in the Digicel Netball Tri-Series in Fiji.
“For the most part, yes, we have achieved what we had set out to do at the series,”Iamo said.
“We’ve played against the Fiji Pearls and now we have a better understanding of the Fijian side and what it takes to play against them.
“We’ve definitely drawn a wealth of experience from this competition.
“There were definitely issues with the first game but by the last two games, the girls settled well into play and improved greatly.
“There is obviously a lot we still need to work on and it’s good that we had a competition like this to help build us up for the next set of bigger events like the Pacific Netball Series and next year’s Pacific Games in Port Moresby.
“So now we’re moving on with our build up for the Pacific Series and we’re looking forward to a more improved performance there after everything we’ve gained from this series.”
The 2014 Pacific Netball Series is from June 2-7 in the Cook Islands.
The Pepes lost their first two matches to the Fiji Pearls 67-41, Northern Ireland 65-42 before beating Tonga 67-29.
SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS
36) Game against Eagles intended to boost rugby’s image and aid All Black build-up
By Online Editor
5:48 pm GMT+12, 14/05/2014, New Zealand
Rugby’s not so big secret has been let out of the bag with confirmation the All Blacks will play a test against the USA in Chicago this year.
Soldier Field, home of the NFL’s Chicago Bears, will be the venue for the November 1 clash, which will be the third test and the fourth game between the two nations.
It is being viewed as an important part of the All Blacks’ World Cup preparations.
There is some concern among All Black management that they have again been handed a soft pool at next year’s tournament.
So they want to use this year’s November tests to simulate a World Cup scenario – a game against a Tier Two nation (USA) followed by consecutive games against England, Scotland and Wales.
They see the USA game as being the equivalent of their last scheduled pool game against Tonga and the next three tests in November replicating the knock-out rounds.
Soldier Field has a capacity of 61,000, so the game could set an audience record for a rugby clash in the USA.
Early predictions are that 40,000 ticket sales is a realistic target, but the New Zealand Rugby Union and USA Rugby are quietly confident they will push past that figure.
Participation is rising rapidly in the US and with the Eagles having recently qualified for the World Cup, the test in Chicago could provide another impetus for growth.
“You look at the calibre of athletes you see playing basketball and NFL, and if they put some real energy into rugby, there would be a fairly big pool to choose from,” said All Black captain Richie McCaw.
“A lot of people don’t know about the All Blacks in the US, so it will be great to play a game there and show what rugby is all about.”
The All Blacks have played in the US before. They played a non-test in San Diego in 1980, and in 1913, they played a test there, winning 51-13.
The only other clash between the two was at the 1991 World Cup when the All Blacks won 46-6 in Gloucester.
As well as servicing rugby needs, the test in Chicago is part of a wider strategic NZRU aim to increase the awareness of the All Black brand in the USA.
That has been a goal for the past decade but has intensified since American insurance group AIG was signed as a major sponsor two years ago.
“We are very excited to be taking the All Blacks to a part of the world we know is incredibly keen on all sports and where we believe there is a real thirst to see the style of rugby we are famous for,” said NZRU chief executive Steve Tew.
SOURCE: NZ HERALD/PACNEWS