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Papua New Guinea

New roads to boost growth of B’ville’s cocoa trade

Bougainville’s cocoa industry and wider economy has received an important boost from completion of an Australian-funded project to reseal more than 7km of Bougainville’s trunk road.

The K7 million project to repair and reseal the national highway in Tinputz has been delivered as part of the PNG-Australia partnership.

The works between Iaun Primary School and Pitpit Bridge have also upgraded the drainage and enhanced safety for all road users.

Ilon Sammy, a local cocoa smallholder, is very impressed with the change that the new road is already bringing to her community.

“The smoother, safer road is reducing travel times and improving my connection to markets in Arawa and Buka,”

Minister for Technical Services, Luke Karaston, values the essential ongoing maintenance of the region’s road network.

“This project is part of Australia’s long- term partnership in Bougainville. Together we have delivered improved roads in Arawa and Buin towns, improved the key economic connection from Arawa to Kieta Port, and continue to maintain more than 300 kilometres of our national highways across the regions,” he said.

“Well maintained roads are crucial for economic development in a prosperous Bougainville. I am proud to be able to support our cocoa industry with this project.”

Australian High Commission Minister Counsellor, Andrew Egan, was delighted to inspect the completed project. “It’s a privilege to be in Bougainville for the Chocolate Festival this week, and to witness on the ground how improved roads can help Bougainville’s cocoa industry grow and create economic opportunity across communities” Mr Egan said.

The works provided employment and training to 45 local residents in a wide range of roles and was delivered through the Papua New Guinea – Australia Transport Sector Support Program.

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