21 Sep 2004

PNG approves funds to upgrade border infrastructure with Indonesia

8:20 am on 21 September 2004

The Papua New Guinea government has released nearly one point three million US dollars for the upgrade of infrastructure at the Indonesian border and for the upgrade of the road to Wutung.

The National newspaper reports the fund release was approved by the National Executive Council following a visit to the area by Inter Government Relations Minister, Sir Peter Barter, in April.

Sir Peter has announced the approval of the release of 131-thousand dollars to fund infrastructure at the Watung Border Station.

In addition, one point one million dollars has been released to complete the sealing of road to Watung while other work will be done by Works Department, such as the Davi Bridge.

Sir Peter says decisions are now in place so that the full benefit of the border can be realised.

He says once the quarantine station and facilities are complete he expects a dramatic increase in people crossing the border which would boost trade between PNG and Indonesia.

But the minister says the main concern is border security, and it is up to the Internal Revenue Commission, Customs, the Police and PNG Defence Force to ensure that illegal smuggling of guns, drugs and other items are controlled.