PM inspects Wutung Border Post

Prime Minister Peter O'Neill this morning visited Wutung Border post, West Sepik Province, with Governor Tony Wouwou, and senior State Ministers and officials to inspect border protection measures.

They were greeted on arrival by the Wutung Primary School Headmaster, Evan Misih.

The Prime Minister met with officials on the ground to discuss border security issues and inspect the facility that was built but has been sitting idle with no electricity connected.

Disappointed with the state of the facility, the PM said he will send a team next week to attend to the issues at Wutung.

“Maintaining security on the border is in the national interest of Papua New Guinea and Indonesia,” the Prime Minister said.

“Both countries work together to prevent the movement and contraband and other illegal activities.”

O’Neill also launched and officiated at the ground breaking of the second stage of Vanimo airport upgrade at a cost of K35.95 million.

Three years ago the runway was extended. This second stage will see a further extension of the runway and a double-storey terminal built in the Sandaun capital.

Construction should commence by March and run for 12 months. The contractor is China Railway construction and funded by ADB.

Telefomin MP Solan Mirism and Sandaun Governor Tony Wouwou asked if the airport can be of international standards and accept international flights, as it is the gateway to Asia.

PM O'Neill agreed that Vanimo should also be a gateway and must ensure Wutung is operational, the airport must be upgraded and roads sealed and bridges built.

Sally Pokiton