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Works Secretary Wereh responds to critics

The Works Secretary has hit back at critics who claim he was not being straightforward about the road conditions along the Highlands Highway.

David Wereh clarified that the 60 to 70 percent road conditions he described in one of the dailies, was not the state of the road but the accessibility.

“Our point is that the highway is accessible, that basic services are still flowing,” says Wereh.

“Containers full of basic goods are being transported from one service arm to another point. This is the important message we want to give.”

He states unlike in the past, today’s turnaround times for the department have been very effective.

“Unlike those years of one or two weeks of road closure. That was the past experience. Today when there is an emergency, there’s a contractor already there and in a matter of hours the road is restored.

“That’s an achievement.”

The Secretary says the public has very high expectations that are just not forthcoming when the country is currently going through tough economic times.

“We know the expectation is so big as well, everyone thinks we could fix the roads now, create a miracle now, it is not easy.

“These are backlog issues of many years of negligence. We need billions of Kina to build our roads to the required standard, we are aware that we can’t, because of the limitations in the economy, limitations in the funding, there is no way anyone can fix the roads to meet those expectations.”

While the Works Secretary admits the Highlands Highway is very old and needs rebuilding, it will cost huge amounts of funds, which Wereh says they understand the Government cannot give at the moment because it has to balance funding allocation to all other sectors, such as health and education.

(Works Secretary Mr. David Wereh) Press Release 
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