AusAID maintains roads

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday 23rd April 2013


AUSAID is heavily involved in the maintenance of national priority roads in the country including the Highlands Highway, according to its deputy director-general, James Batley. 

He told The National that last year alone, AusAID paid for the upkeep of 2,300km of roads throughout PNG, and since 2007, K600 million had been spent on this. 

Batley gave a rundown of how Australian taxpayers’ money totaling K1.1 billion was being spent on the four main priority areas of transport infrastructure, health, education, and law and order.

“One of the areas that a lot of people talk about is in the area of infrastructure,” he said.

“Road maintenance is one of the biggest areas that the aid programme focuses on.

“The work we’re doing at the moment comprises half of all the maintenance of national priority roads at the moment.

“We’re working with the department of works to keep national priority roads maintained and in a good condition.

“That’s not only the Highlands Highway, but other parts of the country.

“That’s a really significant piece of work for us.”

Batley said in health, AusAID had a programme that was delivering medical kits and medical supplies to all clinics, health centres, and aid posts around the country.

“There are about 2,700 of these centres,” he said.

“We’re guaranteeing, and we’re providing medicines.

“There’s always availability of essential medicines in all parts of the country.

“That’s a really key contribution we’re making to get the delivery of services right down to the grassroots people around the country.”

Head of AusAID in PNG, Stuart Schaefer, said in education, 1.6 million textbooks were being distributed to 3,500 schools around the country.

“In terms of other infrastructure around the country, we’re providing support to different hospitals: Daru Hospital K20 million, Alotau General Hospital K10 million, Mt Hagen Hospital K4.4 million, and other health centres around the country as well.

“In Education, we’re building 1,100 classrooms and 450 teachers’ houses, through to 2015.

“We’ve also completed upgrades to the Maritime College at the Divine Word University.”