Lae city - Papua New Guinea



The Lae City Council is also known as Lae Urban Local-Level Government. It is an Urban Municipal Authority, responsible for the policy decisions, management and administration of the City, by way of providing the municipal services to the residents of the City.
The Lae City is the second largest city of Papua New Guinea, and Port Moresby being the largest. The City is strategically located, and is unique due to the following: It links the Islands, Momase, Highlands, and the Southern Regions by sea, land and air transport. It is also the industrial City for Papua New Guinea, and is the home to multi-million Kina industries. It boasts of having the largest port in the country. Most of the world’s goods are exchange through this port.  The Lae City is also known as the ‘Garden City’ of the country. All year around, the City is ever green, given its tropical location.

The Council, with equal Community participation, is committed to being Transparent Autonomous Urban Local-Level Government, providing a full range of Municipal Customer Oriented Quality Services, through a dedicated professional workforce.

Lae City Aims to become one of the Garden Cities of Asia Pacific Region by 2012, by creating a modern, safe, vibrant City, with a strong economy, whilst enhancing its cultural heritage, and by developing a Healthy, well Educated, Harmonious Community, which will enjoys a good living environment.

The Lae Urban Local-Level Government is a third-tier Government. The political structure comprising of the Lord Mayor as the head, who is elected by the people, with five elected, and three nominated Councilors. The six elected Councilors representing the six Wards in the City. The nominated Councilors represented the Chamber of Commerce, the Workers Federation Union, and the Women, Youth and Churches. The Council makes decisions on the policy issues relating to the City, and the Council Management implement the decisions.


Under the Organic Law on Provincial and Local-level Governments, the Lae  City Administration comes under the Morobe Provincial Administration. In this regard, Lae Urban Local-Level Government is one of the Local-level Governments (LLG) which make up the Lae District. The other is the Ahi LLG. The Lae City Council Management Team, is comprising of the City Manager as the head, and assisted by three Directors. There are three Departments within the Lae City Council, and each of the Department is headed by a Director. The Departments are;         

  • Corporate Services
  • Technical Services           
  • Community ServiceS



The Lae City is the second largest City in Papua New Guinea, with a population of 78,692 people, according to the National Census 2000. It is the capital of the Morobe Province. Its residents are people from all works of life, and people from all over Papua New Papua New Guinea, as well as from overseas countries.

The town of Lae was established in 1900, when the  German traders set up a branch of the New Guinea Company in Lae. The German Missionaries arrived in PNG at 1915. In 1919, the Territory of New Guinea under the German Administration was handed over to Australia, as a result of the German defeat in the First World War. The Town of Lae was then established in 1930 when gold was discovered at Wau/Bulolo.

The Australian Colonial Administration established the first properly constituted Local Government of Lae Town in 1971. In 1972, Lae Town was proclaimed a City. In 1978/79, when the Morobe Provincial was established, it established Lae City Interim Authority under the Development Authority Act 1981. In 1997, under the Reform on Provincial and Local-Level Government, Lae City Authority became the Lae Urban Local-Level Government Council.


Lae is an industrial City. It hosts most businesses operating in Papua New Guinea, particularly big businesses such as the Halla Cement Factory, Trukai Rice Industry, SP Brewery, South Pacific Steel, to name a few,  including the largest seaport in PNG. It is also strategically located, that it is the supply centre for all Highlands, New Guinea Islands, Southern and, the Momase regions. The City  of Lae generates a lot of money from the GST, which goes to both the Morobe Provincial and the National Governments. It is an Economic Hub of Papua New Guinea.


The Lae City is also known as a Garden City. This nickname derived basically from the beautiful Botanical Garden the City has, as well as the beautiful rain and other trees and flowers that line up along the roads and properties within the City. Due to the financial constraints the City faces, the beauty of the City has declined to certain extend, however, the potential still exists, which can be reactivated if the financial position improves.


The City of Lae has a river known as “the Bumbu River” which runs meanderingly through the City, commencing at the head of the Adzera Mountain Range, down to the West and East Taraka, to Kamkumung, to Butibam, to Bumbu Settlement , and emptying into the coastline of the Huon Gulf. This river, to a new comer to Lae may think that it cannot do any damage to the City. However, for those who live in and around Lae for many years may recall the major damage it did to the City in 1992, which resulted in the establishment of the current Tent City. The river is still a threat to the properties along the river, as well as the City residents, particularly during the wet season every year.

There has been a plan put in place by Lae City Council called “the Bumbu River Mitigation Project” to counter, and manage this river in order to safeguard the properties as well as  the City residents. However, this project has not been implemented for many years now, due to lack of funding.


The City of Lae is located along the coast of the Huon Gulf, between the two big, and fast flowing rivers, namely, the Markham and the Busu Rivers. The City boasts of having the biggest wharf, with the deep sea harbor which allows for big ocean liners to berth and discharge their cargoes. Currently, the Warf is undergoing redevelopment program, which will make it the biggest seaport in PNG and the South Pacific Region. The coastline also offers a beautiful bay at a location called “the Voco Point”, which a coastal wharf is located to provide services for the coastal boats. Also between the Main Wharf and the Voco Point is another wharf, owned by Mr. Jack Sharp, hich services the fishing boats, both overseas and local, which supply fish to the Frabelle fish factory.


The Lae City has 137 kilometers of roads, which the National Government is responsible for the maintenance of the Independence Drive, the Markham Road, and the Milford Haven Road, while the Lae City Council maintains the rest of the roads in the City. Due to lack of funding, almost all the roads have deteriorated over the years. However, the National Government has recently allocated K50 Million for this purpose, which hopefully will sort out this problem.



The Lae City boasts of having the best food market in Papua New Guinea. This is due to the fact that the Morobe Province produces the best taros, bananas, seetpopatoes, yams, fruits and vegetables etc, which have been sought after by many Papua New Guineans as well as expatriates. The Lae Main Market also receives and sells foodstuff and vegetables from the Highlands Provinces.     Apart from Lae Main Market, Wards and Mini-markets are also available to cater for the needs of the growing population of o the City. There is also a plan  in place  to build a new market for Lae City at a new location, due to the increase in population, which makes the existing Main Market to small for its purpose. As the price of goods in the stores increase, more people turn to the market as their alternative place to buy cheaper food stuff.


The City of Lae is called the Garden City, due to its ever green beautiful trees and flowers which line the streets throughout the City. The City is a vibrant City, with much potential to be the leader as the economic centre of Papua New Guinea. This view is supported by the fact that it is the industrial City of Papua New Guinea, as well as its strategic location where it becomes the centre of the distributions of both materials and human beings throughout the country, by sea, road and air transport. This makes it s a unique City, which attracts people from all over PNG as well as from overseas to come and settle in Lae.

It is therefore, this makes the job of Lae City Council much more demanding in providing the municipal services to the residents of the City. This requires the full support of both the Provincial and the National Governments with  appropriately funding in order to meet the Council’s obligations.


Morobe Provincial Government
P.O. Box 1834, Lae
Phone: 473-1600 Fax: 472-4745



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