Aust agrees to A$329m in projects
Relationships have been strengthened and projects have been agreed on in Prime Minister James Marape’s first state visit to Australia.
A total of A$329million (K784.71m) in electrification and health services to the country was announced by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison during a media conference following a one on one meeting in Canberra.
“We’ve agreed and we’ve made further announcements regarding A$250 million investment in the electrification program, which will bring low-cost electricity generation to the Ramu grid. There are also additional projects that relate to the Enga Province electrification project, and this, of course is part of that broader relationship that we have with the United States, Japan and New Zealand in supporting what is a transformational project for Papuaew Guinea, combined with the Coral Sea Cable project,” Mr Morrison said.
“On top of that, we have $54 million which is going into the rural primary health services initiatives, and another project of $10 million going into a broader program on immunisation, which will see some 400,000 children in Papua New Guinea, across 12 provinces receive immunisation.
“And also, $15 million to support the next phase of controlling the drug-resistant tuberculosis programme.”
Mr Morrison said the relationships between the countries were cemented though economic prosperity, tackling and addressing security challenges and improving and building on all of the connections that has been between the two nations. He described the discussions as “fruitful and meaningful”.
“The strategic placing of our countries can be of better used to also consolidate on the economic potentials and propensity of our region, but more importantly, of our country, for the mutual benefit of countries in the Pacific region, including Australia and New Zealand.
“Our meeting this morning is to consolidate on some of the issues that we need to build on as leader-to-leader, that will set the pace for our Ministers to have their dialogue, the annual dialogue, and we will consolidate going into the future.”
Mr Marape said that PNG needed to build a robust, strong economy not dependent on foreign aid.
“We can only gain from a stronger Australia, a better partnership with Australia, a more deeper and richer partnership with Australia and we appreciate, in totality, every effort Australia has put into its contribution to us thus far and the future contributions that the Australian people, Australian government will continually give us, some of which were announced by Prime Minister Morrison.”