26 Aug 2013

No endorsement from Vanuatu opposition for task force change

1:43 pm on 26 August 2013

Vanuatu's opposition bloc says it is not going to support a planned motion by the government to include opposition members in the task force it has set up to make recommendations on a controversial new international airport.

The opposition leader Ham Lini says the government wants to change the format of the task force by including four members appointed by the opposition.

The government is yet to reveal details of a 350 million US dollar deal with a Singaporean company to build and operate Vanuatu's airports for the next 50 years, including a new international airport on the main island, Efate.

Mr Lini has told the Daily Post newspaper it is not normal for the prime minister and deputy prime minister together to sign such an agreement, as it should have been the minister responsible for airports.

Mr Lini says unless the government can show a breakdown on how the money is going to be spent, the opposition will remain suspicious of the project as a scam on a grand scale.