LEGAL CHALLENGE TO CATAMARAN FERRY IN WALLIS AND FUTUNA

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MATU UTU, Wallis and Futuna (April 3, 2000 – Radio Australia)---A legal challenge is under way in the French territory of Wallis and Futuna over a new ferry service.

The territorial assembly is backing a proposal to introduce an Australian-made catamaran, but traditional leaders want a Noumea-built ferry.

Currently, freight between Wallis and Futuna normally is carried by international shipping lines, while passengers travel by small plane.

The improvement of maritime links between the two islands has been on the assembly agenda for the last two years.

The legal challenge was introduced by a local law firm which alleges that President Uhila is using his influence to encourage the catamaran project and that there is a conflict of interest.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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