10 May 2013

PNG defence minister says soldiers increasingly involved in road building

6:41 pm on 10 May 2013

Papua New Guinea's Defence Minister says the Defence Force is increasingly involved in road construction work on the Highlands Highway.

The National Executive Council recently issued a Defence Force callout to parts of the Highway to help police restore order, and assist road maintenance on the country's premier road link.

Traffic flow is frequently plagued by road blockages created by natural events such as a recent major land slip in Chimbu province.

The minister, Fabian Pok, says the Lae-based Defence Force Engineers Battalion has been busy helping contractors with the road work.

"The callout is to help with the clearing out of the (road).. and the engineers are coming to clear out, to ensure there's no problems with the clearing. They are now involved in our major road construction and what not. We're doing a lot from Mt Hagen to Madang and New Zealand engineers have agreed to help with the construction with our Defence Force."

Fabian Pok