7 Jul 2005

Nauru still waiting for a clear picture of what's left after the sale of its Australian assets last

8:10 pm on 7 July 2005

Nauru hopes for more information next week on when Australian tax officials will rule on issues that must be resolved before receivers can begin paying out up to 74 million US dollars to Nauruan interests.

The money's been held by receivers Prentice Parberry Barilla for months following the completion late last year of the liquidation sale of Nauru's extensive Australian assets.

This followed American creditors moving to recover 239 million dollars from cash-strapped Nauru.

Nauru's keen to get its hands on residual funds but says it has no idea when the Australian Tax Office will resolve issues to do with whether there is any tax liability on the funds.

The Nauru Finance Minister, David Adeang, says he hopes to find out more during bilateral aid talks with Australia next week.

He says Nauru's suffering as the issue drags on.

"Of course, the money that's there is quite significant by any standard. There are only eight thousand people here in Nauru, Nauruan people, and there's seventy to one hundred million [Australian] dollars"

being held up by the Australian Tax Office. It's really... I mean, that amount of money could do a lot for a small country like this, not that we have any intention of spending it all. In fact, I think our intentions are quite honorable. We would like to have it professionally managed and reinvested.

David Adeang.