Leaders meet over PNG’s road infrastructure
Prime Minister James Marape, PNG leaders and key road stakeholders met recently to discuss the Connect PNG Strategy – a plan to increase strategic connections across PNG’s four regions over the next 20 years.
Australian High Commissioner Jon Philp addressed the Department of Works hosted the meeting to reaffirm Australia’s support for strategic and high-quality infrastructure projects as a tool to promote economic prosperity.
“Australia is committed to working with Papua New Guinea to implement the Connect PNG Strategy through the Connect PNG Development Infrastructure Program,” the High Commissioner said.
High Commissioner Philp said Australia’s investment in infrastructure in Papua New Guinea is the largest single sector of Australia’s development assistance.
“At the heart of our partnership with PNG, driving these investments and developments, are the people. High quality road construction contributes to safer roads, improved connectivity, increased access to health, education and financial services and economic opportunities for the people of Papua New Guinea.”
Prime Minister Marape said Connect PNG is about unlocking the huge land potential of Papua New Guinea.
“Connect PNG was born out of the concern to spread the benefits of economic development to the rest of our country. Our donor partners have been helping and we want them to continue to help to deliver this strategic priority infrastructure program,” Marape stated.
The Connect PNG Development Infrastructure Program 2020-2040 aims to enhance support for sustainable socio-economic development and national cohesion and unity, by connecting PNG’s four main regions over the next 20 years. The Road (Management and Fund) Bill 2020 establishes the PNG Road Fund Authority which will be responsible for maintenance, safety and rehabilitation of the National Road Network.
Minister for Works and Implementation, Michael Nali, supported the legislative reforms.
“The Government’s policy intention in the proposed Bill is to establish an efficient road management and ownership system that reflects our political and administrative structure and decision making, and at the same time creates a sustainable funding regime to eliminate the accumulation of the maintenance backlog.”
Australia, through the PNG-Australia Partnership, is cooperating with other development partners such as the World Bank, Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on long-term transport infrastructure projects in Papua New Guinea.