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SITE PATA ASITA
Bali News by Bali Update
BALI UPDATE #955 - 22 December 2014

IN THIS UPDATE


Ship to Shore
North Bali Needs Additional Funding to Build a Yacht Jetty

Bisnis Bali reports that Rp. 1.2 billion (US$129,000) allocated for the construction of a yacht jetty on Bina Ria Beach in Lovina, North Bali is considered to be inadequate and, by some sources, a "lost cause."

Made Kardika, a local resident in Kalibukuk, Lovina, told the press, “The building of the jetty will be difficult to materialize, bearing in mind that the budget proposed in 2006 came to Rp. 7 billion (US$752,700) for a pier 50 meters long.”

That amount of money requires the involvement of Buleleng’s regent Agus Suradnyana and vice-regent Nyoman Sutjidra to seek the additional funding to allow the jetty to be built.

Kardika, who is active in project to develop tourism projects in Lovina, supported the project for a yacht jetty while serving as a member of the region House of Representatives in 2006.

Supported by the Buleleng Tourism Service (Disbudpar), the plan for a yacht jetty in Lovina has received an allocation of Rp. 1.2 billion from the Ministry of Tourism and the Creative Economy.

Representing only a portion of the funding needed to construct a yacht jetty, the Buleleng Tourism Office is seeking support from the regency to complete a project needed to provide infrastructure support to “Sail Indonesia” – a yearly program in which hundreds of sialing yachts visit North Bali.


Park Ďn Shop
Protests Grow Over Plans to Turn Kuta Central Parking Lot into a Shopping Mall

Bisnis Bali reports of a growing controversy surrounding plans to convert the Central Parking Area in Kuta (Sentral Parkir Kuta) into a shopping mall.

Wayan Puspa Negara, a member of Commission C of the Badung House of Representatives (DPRD-Badung) is insisting that the current parking area must be preserved and even enlarged in order to accommodate growing traffic flows in Kuta.

Speaking on Tuesday, August 21, Puspa Negara said the entire Kuta area suffers from a chronic lack of parking space, requiring the creation of dedicated parking facilities that will support business activities in that area.

He said need for parking lots will be even more acute if plans to make major roads in Kuta “parking free.” Prohibiting all street side parking is under consideration for Jalan Legian, Jalan Bakungsari, Jalan Buni Sari, Jalan Padma, Jalan Melasti, Jalan Padma Utara and Jalan Arjuna

Puspa Negara labeled efforts to change the function of the current Kuta Central Parking to a mall as little more that another case of arrogance on the part of an investor. He said a change in function from parking to commercial use of the area use could only be done if ecological, social and cultural considerations were ignored.

“Because of this, I am very much in disagreement if the current size of the Kuta Central Parking area is reduced. Moreover, I am of the view that the government’s agreements to provide a principal agreement and issue a building permit for the new mall needs to be reviewed and evaluated,” declared Puspa Negara.

It is both ironic and symbolic of the current path being taken by development in Bali that in the 1995 Zoning Plan for Badung the Central Parking area was originally designated as a “green zone” on which any kind of development was forbidden. The Badung government later changed the zoning status of the area allowing a parking lot in order to facilitate the rapid development underway in Kuta.

Puspa Negara called on PT KSM – the company holding the concession on parking on the land, to understand the current traffic conditions in Kuta and not proceed with their plans to replace the parking lot with a shopping mall.
 


Man on the Run
AYANA Resortís Jerome Colson Running to Help the Kids of East Bali

Jerome Colson, Executive Assistance Manager for Food & Beverage at the AYANA Resort and Spa, Bali, is a hard man to keep up with. In addition to running one of the largest F&B operations in a 5-star resort in Bali, he also manages to find time to compete in “ultra marathon” events around the world to raise funds for worthy causes on the island of Bali.

Not for the meek of spirit or body, an “Ultra Marathon” covers a grueling distance of 100 km. Jerome will be bound for Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia to run in the “The Most Beautiful Thing” (TMBT) Ultra Trail Marathon held in the Crocker mountain range of Sabah. Traversing gravel roads, short pieces of pavement, hanging bridges and even fording Jungle Rivers – all forming part of a race that is divided into three divisions of 25 km, 50 km and 100 km.

The Sabah race on September 15, 2012 will be Jerome’s second 100 km ultra marathon race this year. The race run in an equatorial jungle will see runners deal with high temperatures and humidity and a racecourse that includes a positive ascent of 4,500 meters.

After a successful 2011 run enabled Jerome to support to work of his friends Serge and Inge Van Zon of Villa Flow in Seraya Barat and their efforts to assist two grade schools serving 137 children in East Bali, the goal of the coming race is to raise US$3,000 to help renovate a building, fand urnish and provides books for a well-stocked school library in Seraya Barat.

To learn more about Jerome Colson’s runs in support of the children of Bali visit [www.accrorun.be

[Donations by PayPal

Related Article

[Food & Beverage on the Run]


The Shirt off Our Back
Bali Politician Creates an ĎHonesty Shirtí to Join the Fight on Corruption

Beritabali.com reports “honesty shirts” have been launched in Indonesia for those wishing to demonstrate their firm support for national efforts to combat corruption. The shirts feature a small white and black checkerboard design and are intended to be worn by members of the public wishing to let officials know how they feel about the abuse of power and position for person profit.

The shirts also feature red and white collars.

The chairman of the Bali chapter of the Democratic Party, Made Murdarta, told the press that the shirt he designed is meant to invite civil servants to adopt a simple and modest lifestyle, because he feels that living beyond one’s means pushes many to commit corrupt acts.

Another unique feature of the anti-corruption shirt is the installation of shirt pockets that are upside-down as a warning others that the wearer will not accept illegal payments and gratuities.

Made Mudrata said the launching of the anti-corruption shirts is a consistent expression of the Democratic Party’s continuing effort to fight corruption in Indonesia, despite the fact that several leading members of the Party are facing corruption charges filed by the national Anti-Corruption Agency (KPK)?

What's next? Trousers with no pockets?

Image from Beritabali.com



And a Light onto Your Path
Street Lamps Go Missing on a 20-Kilometer Stretch of Baliís Ida Bagus Mantra Highway

The Bali Post reports that tens of street lamps that were purchased to be installed on the Jalan Ida Bagus Mantra highway have mysteriously disappeared.

As a result, sections of the modern, divided highways in the regency of Gianyar are in total darkness during nighttime hours. Hopes by many that the road lamps would be installed now the roadwork has been completed have come to naught.

Prior to the most recent construction when the road was still a single road running in two directions, road lamps were already in operation on the highways. However, with the launch of the modern divided highway illumination of any kind on some sections of the road have disappeared.
A 20-kilometer stretch of the highway in Gianyar has made that section of the road treacherous in terms of accidents and criminal acts carried out under the cover of darkness.

The darkness and the accompanying threat to public safety caused Bali police to station extra staff along the highway during the Lebaran Holidays when traffic levels run very high on the island’s main highways.

Police from the Gianyar Post recently sent formal letter to the provincial government of Bali asking that urgent steps be taken to install street lighting on the highway.


Code Red
Province Rushes to Start Building of New Provincial Hospital Before Appointing Management Partner

A number of community components have expressed fears that plans by the province to establish an international hospital may fall short in meeting the health needs of the Balinese people. According to the Bali Post, some are concerned that with plans to hand over the operation of the hospital to a private third-party could means that Bali’s poor may fail to benefit from the hospital’s establishment.

Adding to these fears is the absence of a clear outline of the proposed joint-venture agreement between the provincial government and the private party expected to manage the hospital. The government has indicated that it has at least three candidate investor-partners, one each from Germany, Thailand and Singapore.

The head of the Provincial Health Service for Bali, Dr. Ketut Suarjaya, told the press on Wednesday, August 22, 2012, that a draft agreement for the management of the hospital was still being considered. Suarjaya also confirmed that earlier plans to begin constructing the hospital in September have now been pushed back to November.

Commenting on the project, Suarjaya said the government’s involvement is limited to the provision of a 2.9 hectare plot of land and a physical plant costing Rp. 195 billion (US$20.97 million). Plans are for the third-party chosen to run the hospital to provide medical equipment, furnishings and the staff to run and operate the hospital.

Saying the agreement to cover the cooperation was still being drafted, Suarjaya told the press that a special team will address legal issues governing the operation of the hospital, the period during which the agreement will remain in force and other matters, such as the amount of local labor to be employed at the facility. “All these things are being drafted at this time. Once the draft is finished, it will be communicated to the candidate investors which will be followed by negotiations addressing various matters, such as the number of local workers.” 

Suarjaya said the decision to start construction of the hospital in November, two months later that the original plan of September, was done because of the large number of public holidays, adding: “By the third week of November we hope there will be able to announce the winner of the tender process now being handled by the procurement division (ULP). Once there is a tender winner we target for the physical construction to begin. Also (at that time) the operational investor will be in hand.”

Meanwhile, some observers have remarked on the peculiarity that the design and construction of the hospital is being finalized without firt consulting those entrusted to operate the hospital.

Meanwhile, a leading academic, Dr. I Wayan Jondra, has stated that he hopes the new International Hospital project proves to be more than a “show piece” of the government, but is also able to contribute to the people’s welfare and provide employment for local workers.

Jondra called on the provincial government to take extra care to make sure the interest of the Balinese are safeguarded in the joint-venture agreement for the hospital’s operation. He said he hoped local workers would secure positions in the top management of the hospital and not only be assigned to menial positions.

Finally, he stated his hope that the hospital would not only provide medical care for Bali’s poor, but would also purchase local goods and products used in operating the facility.

Related Article

[Clinical Development]
 


A Suspended Highway
Bali Provincial Official Orders Halt to Excavation of South Baliís Mangrove Forest by Toll Way Builders

Radar Bali reports that complaints and street demonstration by the Bali Friends of the Earth (WALHI) have resulted in an order from the provincial government of Bali to halt the excavation of bottom lands in Bali’s southern mangrove forest by PT Jasa Marga Bali – the company constructing the new toll road connection Benoa – Ngurah Rai Airport – Nusa Dua.

The decision to halt any further destruction of the bottom land was announced by WALHI on Wednesday, August 22, 2012.

Efforts by Radar Bali to confirm the order with the provincial government have been unsuccessful. When the newspaper contacted the head of Bali Environmental Agency (BLH), Nyoman Sujaya, he confirmed that the province had reviewed the report of excavation of mangrove forests by PT Jasa Marga. “We have summoned them a short while ago, before the Lebaran holiday. Mr. Wija (2nd Assistant for the province) led the meeting,” Sujaya said.

Sujaya explained that as a result of that meeting, it was determined that the excavation of the mangrove by PT Jasa Marga Bali represented a major error. Such excavation was not mentioned in the environmental impact study submitted before the project commenced. He also denied rumors that the BLH had granted permission for the excavation of bottom land. “We had no idea, the ocean had been damaged. Violation of the environmental impact study have been committed for which we have never given permission,” said Sujaya.

Following that meeting PT Jasa Marga was ordered to stop the excavation, warning that reprimands will be issued if additional excavation is performed.

He said that a new environmental impact study would not need to be carried out, at the latest by September.

Meanwhile the BLH has taken water samples at the project that have proven that pollution levels in the mangrove have increased as the result of the excavation. Those test results have become the basis for the order to end the continuing excavation of bottom lands

Related Article

[Stuck at the Toll Booth]

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Yes, We Have No Bananas
Banana and Pork Prices Increase in Bali as Galungan Holidays Approaches

As Bali enters into the Galungan holiday season in combination with the ongoing dry season, the cost of some items associated with the festive season have skyrocketed by, in some case, ten times their normal price.

According to Radar Bali, the cost of bananas (pisang raja), and milk and some wood products have risen dramatically, Banana that normally sell for Rp. 50,000 a bunch can now cost between Rp. 150,000 and Rp. 300,000. Other, lesser types of bananas (pisang kepok) that normally sell for Rp. 40,000 are now selling for Rp. 65,000.

This increase in price was revealed Haji Masrur, a banana trader at Pasar Batu Kandik in Denpasar who said, “What’s more, for ‘pisang kayu bunga’ the increase in price is ten-fold; what once sold for Rp. 30,000 now sells for Rp. 300,000.” He also confirmed that the demand for bananas is very strong with supplies limited due to the current dry season.

Kusnaedo, another trader at the same market, manages to bring two trucks of banana from Java each day to Denpasar, representing an investment of Rp. 18 million (U$1.935) per truck. He is then able to sell each load for Rp. 40 million (US$4,300).

The current demand for bananas used in Galungan offerings is so strong in Bali’s capital that it is estimated that 30 trucks full of banana are sold each day before noon from the Pasar Batu Kandik market.

Demand for bananas at the market are expected to peak during the Galungan celebrations August 28-30, 2012.

Similarly, demands for pork have also risen dramatically as the Galungan holiday approaches. The Indonesian Pig Breeders Association (GUPI) in Bali have prepared between 900 and 3,000 pigs for market over the holiday period. A supply, insists GUPI, sufficient to meet any local demand for pork in Bali.

With the Galungan holiday at hand the price of pork in Bali is nearing Rp. 18,000 (US$1.94) per kilo, an increase from an earlier price nearer to Rp. 17,000 per kilo. Quality cuts of pork selling in city markets are now going for Rp. 20,000 (US$2.15) per kilogram.


What Cooking in Jimbaran?
Greg Bunt Named Executive Chef at Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay

Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay have appointed Greg Bunt as executive chef.

His first appointment with Four Seasons, Bunt, an Australian native, most recently owned and operated three successful restaurants in Brisbane.

Looking forward to his first experience cooking in a luxury resort setting, Bunt said: “Serving our guests from 147 villas and nine Residence Villas makes this a challenge, but it’s a challenge I’m going to knock out of the ballpark!”

As executive chef, Greg oversees all six of the Resort’s dining venues, including the Italian-influenced Taman Wantilan and the Indonesian-focused Warung Mie, as well as coordinating in-villa dining and banquets.

Planning ahead, Bunt said: “One of the most exciting challenges is creating the culinary experience for our new beachfront dining venue, scheduled to open in early December. We’ll be revealing details on the concept soon and we think it’s going to attract a lot of attention.”

Born in New South Wales, Bunt was drawn to being a chef by the excitement and fast pace of the kitchen environment. Trained first in Canberra and Sydney, he has worked in Hong Kong and Macau, cooking in many Chinese and Thai kitchens, gaining valuable knowledge and expertise with Asian cuisine.

While building and opening seven restaurants, Greg has cooked on various Australian TV programs and competed in many international culinary events. An avid surfer and golfer, Bunt says he is very much looking forward to his Bali assignment.

For dining at Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay, Greg sees the theme of “simple, light and fresh cuisine” running through all the menus. “I love cooking with seafood, spice and all the seductive ingredients that surround us here in Bali. I want to explore local Balinese delicacies that might be unfamiliar to some guests. I believe in staying true to each country’s cuisine, never confusing flavors.”

Preferring a sensible approach to food presentation, but always with an element of surprise, Greg adds: “We’re always able to customize our cuisine for individual tastes, while ensuring the high Four Seasons standard of service to make sure all our guests enjoy a wonderful experience.”

[Book a Stay at the Four Seasons]



A Hair from the Dog
Dog Bite Rates and Rabies Cases on the Decline in Bali

Radar Bali reports that dog bites are on the decline in Bali, a development linked to a concomitant decline in the number of reported rabies cases.

The head of Bali’s Provincial Health Service, Ketut Suarjaya, confirms that the number of new rabies cases in Bali continues to decline. Data from his office indicates that in 2011 the number of dog bites reported in Bali averaged 150 a day. In 2012, the numbers of average daily biting reports have declined to 80.

Surjaya credited the decline in dog bite cases to government programs of vaccination and extermination of free roaming dogs. The reduction in the number semi-feral dogs on Bali’s street and an intensive program of vaccination has largely eliminated rabies in many areas of the island.

To treat the lower number of remaining dog bit cases, the Bali Department of Health confirms that it holds 19,985 vials of anti-rabies vaccine (VAR) for treating humans suspected of having come in contact with the rabies virus. Health authorities assure stocks are sufficient to treat all those in need of treatment.

Meanwhile the head of the rabies eradication team at Bali’s Sanglah Hospital, Dr. Ken Wirasandhi, confirmed that the number coming to the hospital for VAR averages only between 10 and 15 patients each day. Adding, “We continue to have enough stock of VAR. There is also additional stock of VAR at the Department of Health; all we have to do is go there to get more vaccine.”

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[The Cost of Curbing Rabies]

[Bali Records its 6th Rabies Death of 2012]

[New Leash on Life]

[Bali Turning the Corner in Rabies War]


God is Ma Cho
Opulent Chinese Temple Inaugurated Near Baliís Port of Benoa

Hundred of ethnic Chinese residents of Bali attended the inauguration of the Vihara Satya Dharma Temple on Wednesday, August 22, 2012.

Located on an 8,200 square meter plot of land near the entrance to Bali’s port of Benoa, the ornate Chinese temple is dedicates to Ma Cho – the God and Protector of the Seas.

Built at a total cost of Rp. 4 billion (US$430,000), the Vihara was erected with donations gathered over a six year period from people in Indonesia, Japan, Thailand and Taiwan. Many of the accessories used to decorate the temple were imported directly from China.

The inauguration was attended by the vice-governor of Bali A.A. Ngurah Puspayoga and Tri Darma religious devotees.

The temple is also intended to serve as a place of worship for the thousands of sailors transiting the nearby port of Benoa.

The opening ceremony was celebrated with a “Barongsai” or traditional Lion Dance and fireworks.


Eye in the Sky
Bali Academic Recommends Electronic Mapping Technology to Create a Complete Inventory of Bali Accommodation Providers and Curb Illegal Operations

The head of the Center for Study of Culture and Tourism at Udayana University, A.A. P. Suryawan Wiranatha, suggests that a more complete and accurate inventory of accommodation in Bali could be achieved by using Global Positioning System (GPS) technology.

Wiranatha insists that in the increasing complex mix of starred hotels, melati hotels, villas and restaurants operating in Bali the government needs accurate and clear data for tourism planning purposes. Such information must be updated each year. “Without accurate data it will be difficult to study the carrying capacity Bali for 5-10 years in the future,” Wiranatha explained.

He continued saying that accurate and complete data, including statistics on tourism, should be shared with the public via a website.

By getting a geographic fix on tourism businesses together with complete information on ownership, address, number of rooms and price per room any cost of establishing the GPS-based system would be justified.

In the end, a complete electronic mapping of Bali’s tourism business would help the government identify unlicensed tourism businesses, such as illegal villas. Officials working in the field encountering villas that are rented out commercially could enter the data into the mapping system.

He said the large number of accommodation providers, many located on small alleys ad side streets, would require a thorough survey to ensure all business are entered into the data base.
 


Hold Your Water
Environmental Group Wants Bali Government to Strictly Control Use of Water by Tourism and other Industries in Bali

The Bali chapter of Friends of the Earth (WALHI) is urging the provincial government of Bali to regulate the use of water by industries in Bali.

As reported by the National News Agency Antara, the chairman of WALHI-Bali, Wayan Suardana, said on Thursday, August 23, 2012, “Regulations limiting the use of water for hotels, villas, home stays and a number of other industries are badly needed because the use of water, particularly ground water, remains very high.”

He revealed that investigations carried out by WALHI in the Kerobokan and Umalas areas of Badung regency estimates there are more than 1,000 villas equipped with swimming pools. In other words, in one sub-district alone there are 1,000 swimming pools - all using ground water.

In WALHI’s opinion, the presence of 1,000 villas with swimming pools is definite proof of a consumptive and exploitive level of water consumption that contributes to a deficit use of underground water reservoirs.

“Water usages in Bali in terms of sheer volume is at crisis levels. This does not take into account the quality of that water, which is also on the decline,” Suardana explained.

Data released by the Bali Environmental Agency (BLH) indicate that there are some 200 rivers in Bali in which the water levels have dropped or dried up completely.

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Inns On the Out
The Demise of Melati Hotels and Inns in Baliís Capital of Denpasar

Radar Bali reports that hundreds of local inns or Hotel Melati in Denpasar face bankruptcy due to their inability to answer intense competition from new budget and city hotels.

According to Denpasar tourism officials, the condition of most of the 194 Melati Hotels operating in Bali’s capital city is a matter of great concern. Many of these hotels are aged, offering minimum facilities and services to their guests who are moving their business to modern low-price budget and city hotels that have sprung up across Denpasar.

Describing an evolving problem for Melati hotels, Putu Budiasa, the head of Denpasar’s Tourism Service, said: “In addition to lacking in facilities, many city hotels in Denpasar are luring customers away with competitive pricing.”
This situation, explained Budiasa, is causing many local hotel operators to close their businesses or turn their hotels into boarding houses.

In order to reverse this trend, the Denpasar Tourism Service is routinely holding upgrading courses for local businesses on how to present attractive services, facilities and entertainment to their guests.

Budiasa admits efforts to persuade older hotels to invest in upgrading facilities and services is proving difficult, with many Hotel Melati continuing to close.

“So far, there’s only one hotel (that has managed to improve facilities). The rest are not yet able. There is a continuing decline in both the quality and the quantity of hotel melati,” Budiasa admitted.


The Need for an 'Air Bus' in Bali
Calls Mount for End to Taxi Monopoly and Public Transport Access to Bali Airport

A member of the provincial House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali) is issuing a call for the Trans-Sarbagita Bus System now serving most of South Bali to also include the Ngurah Rai International Airport.

The secretary of Commission III DPRD-Bali, Gusti Made Suryanta Putra, said, “I hope the provincial government of Bali will soon coordinate with PT Angkasa Pura I at the Ngurah Rai Airport to allow buses from the Trans-Sarbagita System to serve passengers.”

Speaking on Friday, August 24, 2012, Putra said it is the government’s responsibility to make public transportation available to the public. Adding, “This must be done by the government as an additional service to the public and visiting tourists.”

The legislator lamented that Bali’s airport is perhaps the only airport in Indonesia not served by a public bus system. As a result, passengers are compelled to use the taxi monopoly operated from the airport.

At the very least, he said Angkasa Pura should provide buses connecting the airport with the Kuta Central Parking area – the major interchange for the Trans-Sarbagita Bus System. This would represent both a service to travelers but help reduce traffic congestion in Bali.

Made Budastra, another member of the DPRD-Bali, joins Putra’s chorus for public transport at Bali's air gateway. Budastra cited the many complaints from air travelers who complain about the high cost of the taxi monopoly now run at the airport.

Both legislators reminded that there are laws requiring a disbanding of monopolies and the provision of public transportation to the public. Both men cited as a positive example the Damri Bus Service operated at the Soekarno-Hatta Airport in Jakarta that provides an important and affordable service to the public.

Related Articles

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Death of the Night Stalkers
Wild Dogs Poisoned in Tabanan, Bali in Effort to End Mysterious Death of Local Livestock

As reported on balidiscovery.com, farmers living near Banjar Gulingan in the Tabanan regency of Bali have recently been terrorized by mysterious attacks on their cattle, with unknown animals savagely eviscerating 10 cows. [See: Night Stalker].

Bali Post reports that farmers are breathing easier following the elimination of eight wild dogs in the area achieved by using baits of poisoned meat.

Farmers, working with representatives of the Tabanan Livestock Service, placed the poisoned traps at selected locations managing in the process to kill 8 feral dogs in a single night.

Farmers confirmed the dead dogs resembled wolves, having long snouts and ranging in color from red, brown and striped. The poisoning took place on the night of Thursday, August 23, 2012.

In keeping with local tradition, the carcasses of the eight dead dogs were buried in a single grave where offerings were made.

Villagers are now hopeful that the nighttime predators have been eliminated by the poisoning and that the deaths of young cattle by predators in the night have come to an end.
 


An Island on Auto-Pilot
Academic and Tourism Leader Warn Bali is Doomed without a Clear and Well-Enforced Master Plan for Tourism

The rector of the Tourism Faculty at Udayana University, Dr. I Putu Anom, warned on Friday August 24, 2012, that if Bali continues on its current path of developing its tourism product without the aid of a Master Plan the island is fated to  become a cheap destination.

As reported by Bali Post, Anom warned: “This is no master plan for the development of tourism. If zoning is not established, the development of tourism will take place in a helter-skelter fashion.”

He bemoaned that the government is largely helpless to have any impact on the laissez-faire fashion of current development. Moreover, existing prohibition such as “no build green zones” and setback distances from rivers and seashores are ignored by government officials at the behest of investors.

In some instances described by Anom, investors are allowed to build projects with no permits or licenses at all. This results in an invisible tourism economy where it eventually becomes impossible to accurately count the number of hotel, villas and rooms available on the island.

He regretted that the present development of tourism in Bali is only concerned with pursuing quantity of visitors by building as many cheap accommodation venues as possible, with no reference to the resulting impact on the quality of the natural environment or towards an organized building plan for the island.

He went on to describe how Bali is reaping the results of no development planning with traffic jams and a degraded natural environment. The tourism academic fears that, left unaddressed, this situation will eventually destroy Bali’s appeal as a world holiday destination.

Calling for a clear concept on tourism development with a well thought out master plan, Anom said any development must reflect the carrying capacity of each region and seek to protect its natural environment.

‘What most important,” he warned, “is a commitment by the government and officials to enforce and execute the rules that exists.”

The same warning was sounded by another tourism practitioner, Ketut Ardana. He said the current concept for tourism development in Bali is unclear. He feels that the island is pursuing mass tourism, building new accommodation at breakneck speed with no reference to carrying capacity.

Said Ardana: “Don’t let Bali seek 7 million tourists if the carrying capacity is only 4 million! There must be a resolve to sell destinations beyond Bali such as East and West Nusa Tenggara.”

He outlined the problem of oversupply now taking place in Bali where hotel prices are being heavily discounted, creating, in the end, an image of the island as a cheap destination.

Both men said Bali must create a sustainable tourism product that does not sacrifice the natural environment or the destination’s natural appeal. They also called for accurate statistics on tourism, removing the inconsistent and uneven numerical reports currently produced by the government.

First and foremost, they warned, Bali tourism must be managed under one-island management system.
 


Iíve Been to a Garden Party
Bali Charities to Benefit from Two-Day Garden Party and Dinner Under the Stars at Taman Bhagawan September 22-23, 2012

The Bali Garden Party return to Bali for the second year with an exciting two-day format on September 22-23, 2012, at Taman Bhagawan at Tanjung Benoa, South Bali.

Day One - Saturday, September 22, 2012

For, by and of the community - the Bali Garden Party commences on Saturday, September 22nd with a day of fun, games and food organized for 200 underprivileged kids.

Dinner Under the Stars

Later in the day, ten of the island’s leading chefs join forces for “Dinner Under Stars” from 6:00 p, to 12 midnight. Food from, among others, Cascades at the Viceroy Bali, Jemme Dining, Koo-Ka-Roos Beach Club at Beach Walk Kuta, Sitara Indian Cuisine, De Opera Beach Club Nusa Dua, Ma Joly Restaurant, Vivre Catering and Aston Bali.

Outstanding cuisine paired with excellent wine will mark an evening with entertainment line up of Soprano Ilona Gruchot performing with a classical quartet; Jazz Bands by Ryoshi and Jazz Cafe; ‘Opera Batik’ Art Dance and Fashion Show by Afif Syakar of Yogyakarta; and Dance performances donated by Bonita.

Rservations for  “Dinner Under the Stars” is available for tables of ten for Rp. 1,000,000 per person (US$107.50) and include a lavish dinner, paired imported wines and the evening’s entertainment.

Dinner Under the Stars reservations are available by calling Ms. Ari at ++62- (0)361 -9644 524 or by [Emailing

Advance bookings are a must.

Day Two - Sunday, September 23, 2012

Bali Garden Party

Running from 10:00 am until 10:00 pm the 2nd Bali Garden party takes over the Taman Bhagawan Seaside Garden for a day filled with food, music, fashion and top entertainer all day long on the lawn.

There is also a dedicated Kid’s Area with soccer coaching, Capoeira, fun games, art, bouncy castles and pony rides, and a merchandise area with art, handicrafts and accessories.

Admission to the Bali Garden Party costs Rp. 50,000 per adult (US$5.40) and Rp. 25,000 for children (US$2.70).

Charities to Benifit

Funds raised over the two-day event will benefit the following Bali chairities:
  • East Bali Poverty Project
  • Bali Kids
  • Yayasan Senyum
  • ROLE Foundation
  • John Fawcett Foundation


Quarterly Electrical Rate Hikes Ahead?
Government Mulls Increasing Electrical Rates for Affluent PLN Customers on Quarterly Basis Staring in 2013

The government is recommending a change in current policy that would allow automatic adjustments in electricity charges once every three months starting from January 2013.

The Bali-born Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, Jero Wacik, is defending the change in policy to meet rising energy costs and reduce the cost of subsidies paid by the government to provide power supplies.

Wacik has issued assurances that homes with only 450 watts of power will be exempted from any increase in power costs, with future increases applied progressively on users enjoying high levels of electrical usage and deemed to be economically able to pay higher rates that are not subsidized by the government.

At the same time, Wacik was unprepared to comment to what extent fuel subsidies will be reduced or eliminated, saying that was a matter for deliberation by the government and the House of Representatives (DPR).

He also said that future energy policies would look at alternate energy sources as a means of reducing a dependency on fossil fuels.

The Indonesian national budget is heavily burdened by subsidies. The 2013 State budget provides for Rp. 316.09 trillion (US$34 billion) in energy and fuel subsidies, including electrical subsidies of Rp. 80.83 trillion (US$8.7 billion).


Holtman Heads Bali Hai Diving
Zach Holtman Appointed General Manager of Bal Hai Diving Adventure

Bali Hai Diving Adventures (BHDA), a division of Bali Hai Cruises, have appointed Zach Holtman as general manager of their diving division that includes the operations of the  recently arrived “Serendipity II” - a 12-meter day-dive-boat capable of carrying 20 divers,

Holtman, originally from the U.S.A., has been involved in the diving industry for the past twelve years, six of them in Bali.

Commenting on his new role at BHDA, Holtman said, "I am looking forward to joining the Bali Hai team and continuing to maintain the high values and standards that Bali Hai have been so well known over the many years".

Bali Hai Adventure Diving has been operating for 20 years during which they have maintained a 100% safety record. The Company is a component operation of Bali Hai Cruises and Bali Hai Huts.


Resistance to On-Line Taxation for Hotels & Restaurants
Hotel and Restaurants Tax Remain Under collected by 135% as Regency Officials Collude & Resist Efforts to Introduce On-Line Tax Payment Systems

Bali annually collects around Rp. 2 trillion (US$215 million) in the taxes from Hotels and Restaurants (PHR) Island-wide.

Broken down further, the estimated tax revenues from hotels and restaurants:
  • Badung Regency Rp. 1.2 trillion (US$ 129 million)
  • Denpasar Rp. 500 billion (US$53,800)
  • Gianyar Rp. 73 billion (US$7.85 million)
  • Buleleng Rp. 20 billion (US$2.15 million)
  • Karangasem Rp. 16 billion (US$1.72 million)
  • Bangli Rp. 300 million (US$32,258)
  • Other areas of Bali, approximately Rp. 697 billion (US$75 million)
Meanwhile, it has been estimated, based on figures from the Central Statistical Bureau (BPS), that Bali may be under-collecting its hotel and tax revenues by as much 135%, with a more correct total tax bill collectable from sales at hotels and restaurants put at Rp. 4.7 trillion (US$505.4 million).

This total is extrapolated based on an estimated 2.34 million foreign tourists and 4.16 million domestic tourists believed to be spending 50% of all holiday expenditures in Bali on taxable accommodation, and food and beverage.

This under-collection in tax revenue, if correct, offers a ready solution to the island’s desire to fund education, social welfare and medical care for the island's people.

The provincial government has long tried to introduce a on-line taxation systems that would increase the tax revenues collected from the island’s huge tourism industry and eliminate the notorious and well-known level of “negotiation” that takes place when regional officials calculate and collect taxes from Bali’s hotels and restaurants.

The goal of collecting Hotel and Restaurant taxes on-line is included as part of a 2009 laws on public service, but municipalities and regencies in Bali have been stubborn in insisting automated and on-line calculation systems are inappropriate; insisting the present system be maintained.

Critics, meanwhile, suggest regency officials are protecting an area of "administrative descretion" that allows impunity in determining taxes due from hotels and restaurants, and a resulting much-coveted opportunity for personal enrichment held by those in charge of the tax system.

A Lack of Political Will?

Providing insights into the problem is a former candidate for regent in Buleleng, North Bali. Nyoman Patra explained to NusaBali that the governor’s desire to introduce on-line payment for vehicle and driving license registration was initially opposed by the traffic police who eventually relented, eventually permitting  Samsat Online to come into effect. Similarly, Patra said: “The current leakage of Hotel and Restaurant tax and the problems to resolving this problem are many. The officials who collect the tax are part of the problem. Because of this, it now all depends on whether we have the will or not to do something?"


 
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