Joint Media Statement with the Hon. James Marape MP, Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea
Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Prime Minister James Marape have welcomed $158 million (PGK415 million) in agreements under the Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility for the Pacific (AIFFP) to upgrade key power and road networks across Papua New Guinea.
The two Prime Ministers recognised the importance of working together to deliver high‑quality, transformational infrastructure projects, which are critical to Papua New Guinea’s prosperity, and economic recovery from COVID-19.
Australia will support an $86 million (PGK226 million) financing package to improve Papua New Guinea’s national power infrastructure and connect more than 30,000 households, schools and clinics to electricity. Access to electricity is key to improving development outcomes. This partnership will connect many communities in Morobe and East New Britain provinces to the grid for the first time.
Australia’s financing is part of the PNG Electrification Partnership, and supports the Government of Papua New Guinea’s objective of connecting 70 per cent of PNG’s population to electricity by 2030.
Australia is also investing $72 million (PGK189 million) to upgrade road infrastructure in key economic corridors across Papua New Guinea, connecting communities and supporting improved access to markets.
The financing will enable the rehabilitation and maintenance of approximately 359 kilometres of priority roads, including the Sepik Highway in the East Sepik and West Sepik provinces, and the Wau Highway in Morobe Province.
Prime Minister Marape welcomed the agreements.
“This financing will assist my Government to progress our priority Connect PNG Strategy, increase strategic connections across Papua New Guinea, and build up critical infrastructure in the power sector,” Prime Minister Marape said.
Prime Minister Morrison said the partnership would support the development of critical infrastructure in Papua New Guinea, and provide a significant boost to the local economy.
“Australia is pleased to support the development of high-quality infrastructure across Papua New Guinea’s diverse regions, and build on our strong record of supporting critical infrastructure across the Pacific,” Prime Minister Morrison said.
“This partnership will employ Papua New Guinean workers and use local materials where possible to help stimulate the local economy and assist in its economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The agreements recognise the critical importance of Australia and Papua New Guinea’s bilateral partnership and build on the joint ambition established through the Papua New Guinea-Australia Comprehensive Strategic and Economic Partnership (CSEP).
Australia will continue to partner with governments and the private sector in Papua New Guinea, and across the Pacific, to respond to infrastructure needs and support our shared interest for an open, resilient and inclusive Pacific region.