The 51 kilometres New Hanover Trans Island Unity road is now complete, 8 days earlier from the target completion date of 22nd August 2019 .
The ground breaking took place last year on the Southern tip of the Island at Ungat.
The official Grand Opening ceremony was held on the Northern side at Mamirum on Thursday the 15th of August, 2019. Governor Sir Julius Chan, his Executives in the New Ireland Government, 4 newly elected Kavieng Local Level Government Presidents and two Matalai Ward members all travelled on board MV Autonomy to attend the event and were given a majestic welcome at the harbor by an armada of 25 speed boats draped with New Ireland Flags. It was a sight to behold.
At the shoreline the Government delegation was met by Lavongai President Mathew Makapa, 13 newly elected ward members and a rousing traditional welcome leading the delegation up to the main grandstand. Marking the 19 wards in the Lavongai LLG, President Makapa kicked off the formal proceedings with a traditional custom. He also handed over the Lavongai Lumeuas Accord to Governor Sir Julius Chan. The accord is aligned with the New Ireland Declarations and will lead the development pathway of the LLG.
National Works Manager Solomon Pela thanked the locals for their support in ensuring the road project got off the ground and eventually got completed. He described it as one of the most difficult roads to construct even more challenging then the Highlands Highway roads. “ This was an engineering challenge, the interior is quite mountainous but not like the Highlands where I’m from, the mountains go up and down, much like rolling steep mountains so you can imagine this was no easy task. I also thank the contractor PNGSJC for taking on the challenge. You all must be proud of this achievement, now you have this road you can continue with your development aspirations,” said Solomon Pela.
Provincial Administrator Lamiller Pawut praised the leadership of Governor Sir Julius Chan for going ahead with the Trans Island Unity Road despite funding delays from the National Government. He urged the locals not to wait on others to develop New Ireland encouraging them to grow their economy by boosting the Agriculture, Tourism and Fisheries sector. “ New Hanover is blessed with rich fertile soil, with this road you can grow 3 million rubber trees. One tree produces 270 kg of rubber and in one year New Hanover can make K1. 2 billion a year,” said Lamiller Pawut.
Governor Sir Julius Chan used the occasion to announce to the community that President Makapa would be sitting in the Provincial Executive Council as the Chairman for Transport, Works and Infrastructure. He also announced a K100,000 commitment for the building of a Council Chamber at Taskul. With Law and order being an Issue on New Hanover he called on all the locals to take ownership of the Law and order issue on the Island. “ You now have a road, it is up to you to ensure law and order is controlled. Stop the killings and value life,” said Sir J.
Sir Julius also thanked the people of Lavongai for having confidence in the Peoples Progress Party Government. “ You have shown that you trust this Government, you have felt the policies of this Government, policies that will stand the test of time,” he said.