Friday, 19 March 2010

Australia to help improve road network in W. Kalimantan

Personal note: This is a first-class example of the stupidity of foreign governments.
Two weeks ago Hardi and I saw how this road cut through what little forest was left in the area. Human habitation was springing up all along the road.

These people are working on the road and generally poor, so they could often be seen extracting wood from the remaining bits of forest. We can be certain these same people either capture wildlife as bush-meat or to sell live into the wildlife trade. It will not be long before no trees or wildlife will be left and small towns emerge.....thanks to the Australian government.

Let us hope our Australian colleagues will shame their government for contributing to the demise of the environment in Western Kalimantan – you can be sure they are doing this for commercial reasons such as access to the extensive coal mines and other minerals in the region. Why else would the Australian government give its taxpayers money to Indonesia?

We saw mostly palm oil trucks using this road.

By the way, this same road ends close to where what little remaining forest is left. Access to this forest with orangutans etc has now been made much easier thanks to Australia.

The British government and the EU are no better.


Australia to help improve road network in W. Kalimantan

The Jakarta Post , Jakarta Fri, 03/19/2010

Travel time will be cut and road safety improved for people using part of a major West Kalimantan highway being significantly upgraded with Australian support.

The Australian Embassy said in a statement made available to Antara state news agency on Friday that Australian Ambassador to Indonesia Bill Farmer, Indonesian Public Works Minister Djoko Kirmanto and West Kalimantan Governor Cornelis H.M. launched Thursday an improvement project on the Pontianak-Tayan road network.

The 31.5-kilometer stretch is an important link in the Trans Kalimantan Highway and Farmer said the upgrading project would significantly improve travel for motorists.

"Better roads mean better access to markets, education, hospitals and other services," Farmer said.

He further said that by reducing dust affecting local communities to making it faster and cheaper for traders to transport goods, the road improvement project would provide practical benefits for the people of West Kalimantan and their economy.

More than 500 cars, trucks and motorbikes use the highway every day and this number will increase significantly as motorists choose the upgraded roads over longer alternative routes.

Good infrastructure is vital for social and economic development and Australia is committed to supporting Indonesia's efforts to improve major roads.

This project is one of the 20 roads and bridges in nine provinces being upgraded with Australian support. These highways will demonstrate that new approaches to design, contracting and construction will extend the life of roads and deliver better value.

The road improvement projects are funded by a concessional loan of A$300 million from Australia to Indonesia and a A$30 million grant.

Over four years of construction, the overall road program is expected to generate more than 5,000 construction jobs. Australia's support is part of the five-year A$2.5 billion dollar Australia-Indonesia Partnership.