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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (February 29, 2000 - Post-Courier/PINA Nius Online)---"Radio Bougainville is able to broadcast across the entire province for the first time since before the crisis," said Australian High Commissioner Nick Warner at the official opening of Radio Bougainville in Buka.

The Australian government, through its aid agency, AusAID, committed K 3 million to the repair and upgrading of radio transmitters in Hutjena and Rabaul, along with the supply of broadcasting and other equipment to the Hutjena studio.

Radio Bougainville provides a critical means of communication on Bougainville. With Radio Bougainville's enhanced capabilities, all Bougainvilleans will now be able to enjoy a full and reliable broadcasting service.

"Radio Bougainville has and will continue to play a key role in getting clear and accurate information to the people around the province. It provides Bougainvilleans with a chance to hear what's going on in respect of the peace process and restoration activities, what's going on in the rest of PNG and, of course, hear what's going on in the rest of the world," Mr. Warner said.

To enable more people to listen to Radio Bougainville broadcasts, Mr. Warner also announced that the Australian Government would provide 1,000 solar-powered wind-up radios. These will be distributed to primary schools in the middle of this year.

"The Australian government and the Australian people remain committed to the process of peace and restoration on Bougainville. The enhanced capability of this radio station is a further step in that direction, of bringing peace and restoration to Bougainville," Mr. Warner said.

For additional reports from the Post-Courier, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/Post-Courier (Papua New Guinea).

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