The Prime Minister has confirmed for the people of Kundiawa-Gembogl in Chimbu Province, that they will have an international standard highway in their district through partnership with the Asian Development Bank.
Speaking to a crowd of more than 10,000 people at a campaign rally for Hon. Tobias Kulang MP, the Member for Kundiawa-Gembogl Open, PM O’Neill said the Government’s commitment is clear.
“No Government builds roads and highways like a PNC-Led Government,” the Prime Minister said at the launching of the Gewa to Gembogl road.
“We launched the project today, the upgrading and sealing of the road as the second phase from Gewa to Gembogl, and then we go beyond that again.
“We are rebuilding the Highlands Highway and other important roads as a National priority.
“For decades governments have said they would fix the Highlands highway, but they could never find the funds.
“Government-after-Government has been spending money on repairs, but never really attending to the structural issues of the highway.
“We are the only Government that has been able to secure the funding that is needed to fix the Highlands Highway properly.
“We have negotiated with the ADB over the past three years for us to secure the funding.
“Now the ADB and the Government have signed off on this and we will be able to roll this project out.
“As part of this we are not only rebuilding the Highlands Highway, but we will then maintain it to an and international level highway for our people.
“The Asian Development Bank funding of three billion Kina is going to fix the Highlands Highway up to a truly international standard.
“We know that there are opposition parties falsely campaigning saying that they will fix the Highlands Highway overnight by these themselves.
“This is highly misleading because over the past 41 years, no government has been able to tackle this challenge on their own. We simply do not have enough money through our budget to build this road.
“The partnership with the ADB is the only way that we can truly address the long-term needs of this highway for our people and our children.
“The PNC-led Government, over the past five years, can be truly proud of the roads and the bridges that we have delivered.
“No longer will there be a piecemeal approach and band-aid solutions that we have seen in the past.”
The Prime Minister said he has great confidence that Tobias Kulang will be elected by his people.
“Tobias Kulang is an asset to the nation, and he is an asset to the people of Kundiawa-Gembogl.
“Over the past five years there has been great development brought into his district following many earlier years of neglect.
“This is the DSIP at work, and they have been able to build district offices and treasury offices, as well as rebuild the hospital and the staff houses for district public servants.
“The roads are being rebuilt and other infrastructure developed largely because of the DSIP that the Government has been able to allocate to the district.
“The changes that are taking place are having a direct and positive impact on the people of Kundiawa-Gembogl.”
The Prime Minister was accompanied to Kundiawa-Gembogl, and then Kerowagi in Kundiawa, by Kundiawa-Gembogl Open Member and Tourism Minister, Hon. Tobiua K Kulang; Imbonggu Open Member and Minister for Works and Implementation, Hon. Francis Awesa; and, Gumine Open Member and Education Minister, Hon. Nick Kuman.