DISPUTE THREATENS VANUATU ROAD PROJECT

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Quarry owners say government delinquent

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Feb. 1, 2010) – Quarry owners from Vanuatu’s main island, Efate, have threatened to block roads unless they receive royalties promised by the Government by Thursday.

On Thursday the Government is planning to focus on the progress being made on the Efate Ring Road project, which is being financed by the American Millennium Challenge.

But in a meeting yesterday, the quarry owners threatened to cut down trees to block the road if the Government doesn’t make the payments for the materials they’ve provided to the project.

The quarry owners say that since the project began they have been promised royalties but the Government has paid them nothing.

The Millennium Challenge office in Port Vila has confirmed it has already made the payment to the Government and it is up to it to sort the issue.

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