Connect PNG Bill passed

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PRIME Minister James Marape says his dream to connect the country by road will be realised by 2040.
Parliament yesterday passed the Connect PNG Bill 2021 with a funding of K20 billion spread over 20 years.
“This country could have been connected by road years ago (but) past governments did not see the importance of roads to PNG’s development,” he said.
“I now direct the Department of Works to get to work. The mainland must be connected by road so that people can drive from the Wutung Border Post in Sandaun to East Cape in Alotau, Milne Bay.
“I would like to see people from the Momase and the Highlands regions celebrate our 50th Independence Anniversary in the National Capital District in 2025.”
Marape said the legislation guaranteed 5.6 per cent (equating to Kl billion a year) of revenue annually to fund the Connect PNG Road Infrastructure Development Programme from 2020 to 2040.
“We will develop, rebuild, and sustain 16,200km of roads comprising 4,200km of priority national roads, 1,800km of missing link roads (new roads), 9,000km of provincial and district roads, and 2,000m of bridges.
“These capital works are equally distributed in all regions so that all our people have an equal opportunity to participate in development opportunities generated by these roads.”
Marape urged investors to take advantage of the public investment in roads by appraising investment opportunities and creating jobs.
“Efficient transportation systems reduce costs in many sectors of the economy,” he said.
“They provide economic and social opportunities and benefits that result in positive multiplier effects such as better accessibility to markets, employment and additional investments.”
The Connect PNG programme began this year and will continue in 2022 with a total allocation of K710 million.

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