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Transport Safety

Transport safety has been a main priority in the National Transport Development Plan and will continue to be an area of high priority with the objective of continuous improvement done through a number of policy initiatives including:

  • development, maintenance and continuous improvement of Safety Management Systems (SMS), including safety standards where these do not already exist and more effective enforcement;
  • development of safety action plans in each transport mode backed by improved databases of accidents and incidents with monitorable targets and reporting of achievement;
  • some reorganisation of safety functions among agencies and improved coordination;
  • an improved level of enforcement of existing transport legislation, updated legislation and penalties regime;
  • improved financial resourcing for safety; and Government, industry and driver/operator training programmes.
  • improved first response capability to transport accidents, improved search and rescue and disaster management services and inter-agency coordination.

Transport Security

The Government is committed to ensuring that PNG complies with international codes for aviation and maritime security so that it maintains and enhances its international reputation and ensures that its international transport connections to key markets are not jeopardised. This requires that a high priority be given to funding of security infrastructure and operational programmes.

Transport security at the land borders is similarly important and the transport agencies will work in concert with the Border Development Authority to facilitate legal cross-border trade and guard against illegal movement of people and goods.

Within PNG’s air and water space, the Government will enhance the security of domestic and transit traffic, through improvements to air and marine navigation infrastructure and services and response systems for incidents and emergencies.

Security is also an issue on PNG roads and public transport where illegal road blockages, hold-ups, theft of goods, intimidation and danger to travellers are too frequent occurrences. Effectively implementing the Protection of Transport Infrastructure Act 2009 will go some way to improving road security. DOT and the Road Transport Authority (RTA), will also work with the Police, Justice Department and other central agencies and community groups to increase the level of security surveillance and effectiveness of response to incidents as they occur and act as a deterrent. National Road Safety Council and the RTA will incorporate passenger and goods security into their safety action plans.

Transport Integration

In the past, road, air and sea transport infrastructure and services have developed largely independently. This separation has been encouraged by the establishment of the main ports and airports as SOEs required to operate on a commercial basis, while roads remain partly under Government departmental control and partly statutory authority, with each mode having separate reporting responsibilities to Government.

The process of integrated planning and funding will be taken further by the following policies for the physical infrastructure:

  • integration of transport at the main gateways – the NTS aims to better coordinate the land connections with the main ports and airports, in particular Port Moresby and Lae ports, and Jacksons and Nadzab airport; existing arrangements are confined by urban congestion and new port facilities, selective port relocation and inland freight terminals are seen as part of the solutions;
  • integration of basic transport access to remote areas – the NTS aims to coordinate the provision of basic access to remote communities, so that all those of significant size are connected either by road, sea/coastal jetty or rural airstrip, with higher priority given to those areas with fewer such connections;
  • in addition the NTS aims to better ensure that new or existing airports and ports are linked to local and district centres by roads of appropriate standard;
  • where economically feasible and in agreement with the MTDP, the NTS promotes new road linkages between the several separated road networks that exist in PNG; in particular connections between the Highlands road system centred on Lae and Mt Hagen with the Papuan coast centred on Port Moresby, linkages along the Momase coast between Popondetta, Lae, Madang, Wewak and Aitape, and connecting East and West New Britain along both north and south coasts.
  • There is also a need to ensure that PNG roads and bridges along the main economic corridors are to a sufficient structural and alignment standard to carry the heavy traffic generated by resource development and general freight demand, recognising that improved capacity will provide benefits in lower freight costs and improved road standards will give better reliability for import and export freight connections with the main ports.
  • In regard to investment, the TIPS Study 2010 has confirmed expectations that investment in ports has lagged behind investment in roads. A better alignment of priorities for infrastructure project evaluation across modes will give an improved balance of funding priorities in the future.

Corridor Protection & Land Acquisition

The Government recognises the need to protect transport corridors for future development, to ensure that access to land, water and air space required for transport infrastructure is not compromised by development, and to give the owners and occupiers of land certainty regarding Government’s future intentions.

To this end the Government has enacted the Protection of Transport Infrastructure Act 2009 to ensure that land required for all transport infrastructure (i) is available to be used for national, provincial and local-level transport; (ii) is secure and protected; and (iii) is free from encroachment, deliberate damage and excessive and unjustified land compensation demands.