Resealed roads opening in Arawa town today are laying the foundation for greater development in the region. The K11.6 million project was recently completed with assistance through the Australian aid program.
In a ceremony held on Friday, Autonomous Bougainville Government Vice President, Patrick Nisira, spoke of the value of working closely together with Australia, and the impact that a safer, more reliable transport network has on Bougainville.
"These works employed local contractors and created local jobs. The new road surface will reduce operating costs and travel times in Central Bougainville, acting as a catalyst for development. The road works in Arawa and also down to Kieta Port are good strategic investments for development in Bougainville,” Vice President Nisira said.
The resealing in Arawa will make the town safer for drivers and pedestrians alike. Smoother roads now connect the market, schools, police barracks, banks, and healthcare facilities.
Australian High Commission Minister Counsellor, Rod Hilton said: “Australia is pleased to work in partnership with PNG to support development in Bougainville.
“The road network is vital to progress in the region and connects communities and businesses, helping to forge stronger links. I’d like to thank the contractors who worked on the project, including Dekenai, Bougainville Earth Works, Kompaini, Ioro Roadworks, Central Bougainville Engineering and Eastrac.”
The resealing of town roads in Arawa complements other works in the area supported by Australia including four other roads in Arawa in 2012 and from Arakawau into Arawa, about 25km in total.
"These works employed local contractors and created local jobs." - ABG Vice President Nisira
The project will also result in sealing the road from Arawa to Kieta Port. Works on this stretch of road have commenced and is expected to be completed by May/June 2016. These road works will complement the road sealing project by the PNG National Government from Rigu Bridge to Toimonapu.
Australia’s Bougainville roads program, which also includes the maintenance of around 400km of Bougainville’s road network each year, is delivered through the PNG – Australia Transport Sector Support Program (TSSP).