Australia to support Manus infrastructure programs

Australia, Papua New Guinea Government and the Manus Provincial Government have jointly decided that Australia’s additional $26 million (K61 million) support to Manus will be used for major infrastructure programs in the province.

The Australian High Commission released the Regional Processing Centre on Manus update as of July 31, 2014 outlined some of the major projects in health, education and community support programs that have been completed and progressing.

For Lorengau Hospital, work on the dental clinic has been completed and the clinic reopened in February 2014 with a range of medical and dental equipment delivered and installed at a cost of $400,000 (K940, 000).

The equipment included: a new digital dental X-ray device – a first for a PNG public dental clinic – which replaces the need for film processing; a machine to test blood samples quickly; and an incubator for premature infants or infants in intensive care.

The update also stated that refurbishment and maintenance to existing ablution blocks at the hospital will commence in July 2014 and Lorengau Hospital Master Plan has been finalised.

 Australia will provide assistance for staff housing, including rehabilitation of existing housing. The design phase for the new housing will commence in August 2014.

In Education, Assistance includes infrastructure school kits for an additional 10 schools (doubling the pre-existing commitment), which include construction of a double classroom, an administration office, teacher house and ablution block.

The schools were selected by the Manus Provincial Division of Education, in consultation with the National Department of Education.

Schools kits are being constructed at 20 sites in Manus: Bipi, M’buke, Baso, N’dilou, N’yada, Harangan, Lau, Pateku, Metyih, Mouklen, N’drehet, Lundret, Likum, Metepong, Nohang, Waratalai, Andra, Lomoei, Aua and Wuvulu.

These school kits are being constructed by a PNG company (Pacific Development Contractors) following an international tender process. Local communities participated in the construction of the schools. On Road and bridge maintenance and rehabilitation works, Australia is funding three priority road and bridge project.

 Australia is working with the PNG Department of Works (DoW) and the provincial government on these projects as rehabilitation of the Loniu and Nuwok bridges (between Momote and Lorengau, maintenance and rehabilitation including some resealing and earthworks to enhance resilience to flooding of the Lorengau – Momote road; and rehabilitation of the roads and drains around the Lorengau market square.

Other works include the Lorengau Market upgrade and refurbishment to be completed by the end of this month which re-alignment and maintenance of fencing, construction of a new female toilet, and maintenance of existing toilets (expected to be complete by the end of October).

Australia also provided community grants focusing on supporting sport, income generation and livelihood opportunities for at risk youth, vulnerable women and children, and communities adapting to climate change.

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Pacific Flash /Post Courier

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