AN Australian-funded contract to upgrade and seal roads in Buin Town, South Bougainville has been awarded. The K4.8 million project will improve four roads that connect the Buin High School, government offices, shops, and residences of Buin.

Secretary Bernard Tzilu of Bougainville’s Department of Technical Services was pleased that the project would contribute to a safer and more reliable road network for the people of Bougainville.

“Following on from the project to reseal roads in Arawa town, it is pleasing to be able to connect the businesses and communities in Buin. These upgraded roads will provide a real boost for the local economy.”

The smoother roads will improve safe access to essential services in Southern Bougainville including to education and health institutions.

The Buin Town project will also provide employment opportunities for local residents.

Australian Deputy High Commissioner Bronte Moules, said the project was consistent with Australia’s long term commitment to invest in key economic infrastructure in Bougainville.

“Australia is pleased to have supported road maintenance in South Bougainville for many years. This project has been planned, designed and procured in close partnership with the Autonomous Bougainville Government and the Papua New Guinea National Government, and will deliver crucial improvements for the people of Buin.”

The project complements other major road resealing projects funded by the Australian Government, including from Arakawau to Kieta Port, and Arawa town roads. The Australian Government also supports the maintenance of over 300km of Bougainville’s main trunk road from Kokopau to Arawa, and on to Buin.

The works began in January.