18 Aug 2017

Vanuatu biosecurity director wants Chinese gravel gone

From , 3:04 pm on 18 August 2017

Vanuatu's biosecurity director Timothy Tumukon says he wants an illegal shipment of gravel aggregate from China gone by the weekend.

The gravel is on board a vessel anchored in Port Vila.

It was brought in by a Chinese company contracted to upgrade the runway at Vanuatu's international airport.  

But has been banned because of concerns about foot-and-mouth-disease contamination.

The China Civil Engineering and Construction Company earlier said it sourced it from China because there was not enough in the region.

But in a statement released yesterday it is now saying the gravel was never meant to be offloaded in Vanuatu and would be shipped to its other projects in Africa.

Mr Tumukon told Koroi Hawkins he had explicitly told the company in May that Vanuatu would not accept any gravel sourced outside the region.

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Photo: 123RF