Vila Times

Port Vila Star Wharf issues and Bauerfield International Airport

Port Vila Star Wharf issues and Bauerfield International Airport
Port Vila Star Wharf issues and Bauerfield International Airport
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The Office of Public Land Transport Authority (PLTA) has received concerns from the Government on the ongoing issues surrounding the control and management of public land transport in Port Vila and of particular concern to the Government is the wharf management issues during cruise ship days.
The Office of Public Land Transport Authority has been informed that public land transport drivers have been illegally entering the restricted zone at the wharf during cruise ship days without any authorization and IDs.
The Office of Public Land Transport Authority has been tasked to work with other authorities to sort these issues and enforce our relevant laws that drivers continue to ignore and breach. If it is required under Vanuatu laws that drivers must be disciplined, it must be done to send a strong message to drivers that we can work together but respect to laws is paramount.
An urgent meeting was convened on 5th February 2020 to discuss these issues and recommend a way forward with Vanuatu Police Force, Ports and Marine and Public Land Transport. The following has been put forward as the resolution that will be jointly implemented by the authorities and will become effective on 10th February 2020:
1. Drivers must have in their possession a valid General Drivers Permits. Drivers must produce their General Drivers Permits when requested by Police Officers, PVMC Wardens, PLTA and persons authorized by the Authority at the wharf. If you do not produce these permits, you will be kindly asked to leave the wharf premises and your vehicle may be impounded if you fail to produce these permits.
2. Drivers must also have in their possession a valid Tourism Drivers Permit and must produce to the Officers when requested. If you do not produce these permits, you will be kindly asked to leave the wharf premises and you vehicle may be impounded.
3. Commencing on 10th February 2020, NO driver is permitted to go beyond the wharf entrance or beyond the gate without authorization and without an approved ID. This is a restricted zone. The authorities will not tolerate such disrespect towards Ports and Marine Securities and other relevant authorities at the wharf. The securities have been informed to forward names and file reports to the Public Land Transport Authority for disciplinary actions if they continue to ignore these instructions.
4. Drivers going to the wharf during cruise ships days must also take note of the Public Land Transport Standards Order issued by the Public Land Transport Board and the Standards of Etiquette and Clothing Order issued by The Minister of Internal Affairs. Most of the drivers who have graduated after completing the Tourism Transport Ambassador Training are expected to lead by example and put into practice what they have learnt. These drivers have also been issued uniforms, IDs and magnet stickers to place on their vehicles.
Points 1 & 2 above are in accordance to the Public Land Transport Act Section 37 (1) (a)-(d) as quoted below:
(1) A police officer or municipal warden or any other person authorised by the Authority may impound a public land transport vehicle on any of the following grounds:
(a) If the person driving the vehicle has no valid general or tourist driver’s permit; or
(b) If the vehicle has no public land transport vehicle permit; or
(c) If the vehicle does not have an approved number place; or
(d) If the vehicle is not in a roadworthy condition”.
If your vehicle is impounded, it is highly likely that Section 37 (3) may be applied by PLTA which says, “(3) A person who owns a vehicle that has been detained and impounded under paragraph (1) (d), must not apply for a public land transport vehicle permit, in respect of that vehicle, for a period of 6 months commencing on the date on which the vehicle is released from being impounded”.
PLTA will work in collaboration with the Vanuatu Police Force and Ports & Marine to enforce the above commencing on 10th February 2020 and will continue to be enforced thereafter.
While PLTA focuses on the wharf issues, it will continue to liaise with Airport Vanuatu Ltd to ensure that drivers who continue to provide transfer services at the Bauerfield International Airport have a valid drivers and Tourism Drivers Permit.
PLTA has also been informed that certain tour companies are using the services of private vehicles to provide tour services to their clients which is illegal. These vehicles are private vehicles with no vehicles permits and are not registered as a Tour Operator vehicle to provide tour services. The Public Land Transport Act provides under Section 25 (1) that, “person must not permit his or her vehicle to be used as a public land transport unless that vehicle is issued with a valid vehicle permit”.
PLTA seeks the understanding and the cooperation of general public for the good of our tourism industry, your business and to improve our public transport industry and the reputation of Vanuatu as an ideal tourism destination in the Pacific.
Briefing will be organized prior to 10th February 2020 and representatives of public land transport will be requested to attend and will be requested to disseminate further details to you all. (Photo: R. Nanua/DP)