Stakeholders listen at workshop

By Len Garae

Aggregates are essential for use to build roads and the imminent development of the runway of Bauerfield International Airport as well as White Grass International Airport and Pekoa International Airport.

China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) has won the tender to strengthen the runway to cater for bigger and heavier aircraft to land at Bauerfield International Airport.

Minister of Infrastructure and Public Utilities, Jotham Napat says he and the Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, Forests, Fisheries and Biosecurity, Matai Seremaiah are “on a hot seat” whether or not to approve aggregates from China.

“It would require a robust, sound law to guide us to make such decision towards the development of the country,” he says.

Speaking for Acting General Manager of CCECC, Liang Qing, Public Relations Officer Lillyrose Welwel said the contractor is not in a position to answer any questions from the media concerning aggregates from China but that the Vanuatu Project Management Unit can.

In his Acting capacity as Minister of MALFFB at a stakeholders workshop at Ramada last Friday, Minister Napat urged the Departments of Agriculture, Livestock, Forests, Fisheries and Biosecurity and Departments of Trade, Land, National Disaster Management Office, Climate Change and all other relevant Departments, to provide all necessary answers to consultants Ham Bulu (former Attorney General) and Thomas Banga (former Director of Livestock) who have been hired to draft the proposed Livestock Act.

The Minister said the Government would need to have sound policies and legal provisions to cater for its development projects.

He applauded MALFFB’s Technical Development Teams spearheading agricultural development projects in the islands and added, “I always tell my colleague Minister that it is good setting up the projects in the communities but you still need me to bring your products to the coast (by means of linking the inland communities with the coast by access roads)”.

He hopes the draft law will also take into account MIPU’s involvement.

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