Aust to assist in highway repair

National, Normal


THE Australian government will assist in the rehabilitation of Highlands Highway as it is one of the key infrastructures facilitated to bring agriculture products out to the markets.
AusAID minister council Stephanie Copus-Campbell and Australian High Commissioner to PNG Ian Kemish made this known during a radio show in Goroka yesterday.
Ms Copus-Campbell said more than 2.5 million people of PNG rely on the Highlands Highway for transportation needs, and they were aware of this.
She did not elaborate further on monetary assistance for the highway, but it is understood that AusAID had been funding various programmes on the highway rehabilitation.
Mr Kemish, who spent his childhood in PNG in the pre-independence period, described Eastern Highlands province as a region with huge potential in agriculture.
He said Eastern Highlands province had good climatic conditions for agricultural crops such as coffee, adding that the Australian government wanted to strengthen the capacity of coffee growers.
Mr Kemish held discussions with Eastern Highlands Governor Malcolm Kela-Smith before visiting the Bihute jail outside Goroka town and the PNG Institute of Medical Research.
He will launch a coffee project funded by Australia Centre for International Agriculture Research (ACIAR) and visit the Asaro Health Centre run by the Clinton Foundation today.
The tour will wind up with a site seeing tour of Daulo Pass summit tomorrow afternoon.