8 Oct 2003

Vanuatu dismisses opposition claim about Australian role in Vanuatu

12:37 pm on 8 October 2003

The Vanuatu government has rejected opposition claims that Australia is pushing its own agenda by funding civil service positions.

The opposition leader, Willie Jimmy, says the government is being run to an Australian agenda.

But, the prime minister's spokesman, Daniel Bangtor, says the Vanuatu government identifies its own needs, and Australia has been assisting it in funding them.

Mr Bangtor says the recently filled positions of attorney general and public prosecutor went to the most suitable applicants, who were from Papua New Guinea.

He says ni-Vanuatu in the State Law Office are leaving for the greener pastures of the private sector.

"This is why we decided, the Vanuatu government decided, to advertise the positions beyond the Vanuatu shores and we were able to attract a candidate from Papua New Guinea. And the same went for the position of the public prosecutor. It was not that the Australian government pushed the Vanuatu government into making such an arrangement."

Daniel Bangtor.