The Governor of Papua New Guinea's capital has defended the proposed trans-island highway linking Port Moresby to Lae.
As initial construction work has begun on the highway, the Governor of Central Province, Kila Haoda, voiced concern about the potential impact from the highway on his people in relation to the influx of settlers from outside the province.
He says land pressures from burgeoning squatter settlements are already a big problem for Central and are expected to worsen with the construction of the major road.
But the National Capital Governor, Powes Parkop, says that the highway must go ahead, even though he understands Central's reservations.
"But in the long term, for the wellbeing of the country in terms of the economy and creating opportunity for our people, we just have to build this road, the road between Lae and Port Moresby. Port Moresby is our capital city and is a bit unique in the sense that it's not linked to the nation by road. We have to fly in all the time and that's costly."