Australia tackles tax evasion on Vanuatu, New Zealand uses music to fight antisocial behaviour and the tiny state of Timor-Leste gets its own airline.
Australian Federal Police have targeted a number of tax havens around the world, from the Cayman Islands to Vanuatu, in “Operation Wickenby” to recover many millions of dollars in lost tax revenue being hidden by wealthy Australians.
This has led to a predictable outburst from targeted tax havens that have tried to preserve their banking secrecy laws.
In Vanuatu, opposition politicians have condemned the government and Attorney General for allowing the Australian police raids, claiming it is a breach of sovereignty. Opposition leader Moana Carcasses has demanded an apology. “The opposition feels that the
The beef on Vanuatu: Apart from its offshore financial services, tourism, fishing, agriculture and kava exports underpin Vanuatu’s economy. The country (population 200,000) is also said to have the best beef in the Pacific region.
The council of the New Zealand town of Hamilton has discovered that the dulcet tones of American crooner Andy Williams are the answer to anti-social behaviour.
At night, Williams can be heard singing “Moon River” and other classics over loud speakers in the town to convince revellers to move along after bars close.
Global playlist to disperse undesirables:
01 Barry Manilow – Rockdale Council in Sydney 02 Bing Crosby – Wollongong shopping centre south of Sydney 03 Vivaldi – East Riding of Yorkshire Council 04 Rachmaninov – Co-op stores in the UK/ Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport 05 Various classics – London Underground
West Papua was annexed by Indonesia in 1963, but its people are still struggling for independence, a fight that has claimed around 100,000 lives. Monocle spoke to the leader of the new unified rebel movement, Richard Yoweni (pictured left) of the WPNCL (West Papua National Coalition for Liberation).
What’s the significance of the WPNCL?
Our problem has been lack of unity among OPM [Free West Papua Organisation] factions, but now we are unified.
Why did you join the struggle?
I saw that what the Indonesians were doing in my country was not human, so I decided
Timor-Leste is to have its own national airline, six years after becoming an independent country. Timor Air will run services to Australia and Indonesia and aims to undercut its rival’s ticket prices, increase business opportunities and even lure back Australian tourists.
Founder Jerry Desousa says: “The idea is to boost investment and bring in more travellers, particularly backpackers.” He hopes to be up and running by the end of the year. But the likes of Qantas needn’t sweat just yet – he’s starting with one leased plane.
The Pacific nation has a predilection for coups – there have been four since independence in 1970. The current acting prime minister is military leader Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama who seized power in 2006. Despite promising elections for 2009, they seem unlikely to take place.