The Papua New Guinea prime minister, Peter O'Neill, has unveiled plans to expand Goroka into a major Highlands service oriented city and it has won overwhelming backing from local tribal and community leaders.
The Post Courier newspaper reports that at a meeting earlier this week in Goroka they voiced their backing for the plan and made available a sizable block of land for the expansion of the town.
Mr O'Neill says as much as the government wants to improve rural regions, a lot of people are migrating to urban areas in search of opportunities and they need services.
He says to cater for this trend there is a need to upgrade and improve roads, water and sewerage facilities, schools and universities, hospitals, law and order facilities and to increase police manpower.
Mr O'Neill says, at the rate PNG's population is growing, if these improvements are not made now there will be a disaster later.
He says Goroka has a fairly large catchment area, drawing people from Chimbu and other Highlands provinces, from Kainantu, Henganofi, Okapa, Lufa, and Ramu so it is imperative that it is built into a city.