14 Oct 2013

Vanuatu Deputy PM says new convention centre necessary for large meetings

10:46 am on 14 October 2013

A Vanuatu-based academic says many questions have been raised on the maintenance costs of the new National Convention Centre being built.

Construction of the facility has begun on the ground next to parliament, with more than 16 million US dollars worth of funding from China.

The executive director of the Pacific Institute of Public Policy in Port Vila, says the facility is far too grand for what is needed.

Derek Brien says concerns have arisen based on previous investments of a similar scale in the region.

"Classic example is in Samoa where there were massive sporting facilities constructed for the Pacific Games a few years back. Facilities now that, you know, the state simply can't afford to run. And that's a concern here. It's such a huge facility. What about the maintenance costs, how are you going to maintain a building like that?"

Derek Brien from the Pacific Institute of Public Policy.