READY TO GO: Gandep Project volunteer Laury Tate in one of the makeshift workshops which will be taken to PNG once the group acquires funding for travel.
READY TO GO: Gandep Project volunteer Laury Tate in one of the makeshift workshops which will be taken to PNG once the group acquires funding for travel. Meg Bolton

From the Lockyer Valley to PNG

PLACID Hills is a long way from Papua New Guinea but on five acres of property a group of men and their families are working to transport a village to the pacific nation.

Up to 25 modified shipping containers located at the Lockyer Valley site have been transformed into makeshift workshops, a medical centre and a kitchen ahead of departure scheduled for 2019.

Dubbed the Gandep Project the multi-million-dollar operation will provide vital services to 20,000 people in 170 villages in the central north Papua New Guinea on the Ramu River flood plain.

Project director Jim West said at present the remote villages had no access to medical assistance or education.

"We witnessed 500 people die in a drought a few years ago and there's nothing you can do about it," Mr West said.

Between a group of up to 40 volunteers $2.5 million had already been raised which had funded the purchase of the shipping containers, machinery, tools and all the equipment.

But the group require one million dollars to pay for transportation.

"We are really struggling to raise funds to get our gear to new guinea," he said.

"We are really looking for a major donor or two to give us a real lift to get us over there."

Once established in PNG the group planned to revitalise education, health facilities and access to the region.

Volunteer Laury Tate said education would positively influence several aspects of the villagers' lives.

"It's not just schooling its health, it's teaching them to look after themselves because sadly their age span in about 45 years of age," Mr Tate said.

To access the location was a three-day exercise consisting of a day of flying, driving and a day of walking.

"Where we are going there's nothing apart from the people," Mr Tate said.

"We aren't going there to change their life we are going there to enhance it because if you take money in there that doesn't help anything."

The group made up of volunteers from across South East Queensland united in the Lockyer Valley once a week to work on the project.

By the end of 2019 the group hoped to start transferring the shipment to PNG with plans for volunteers to work at the village for three weeks at a time.

For more information on the project visit http://www.gandepproject.org/


Wet weekend forecast for region

Wet weekend forecast for region

TC Owen pulled south by strong trough system

Councils say no to rabbits

Councils say no to rabbits

Council want a helping hand from state and local governments.

Station calls on new recruit for support

Station calls on new recruit for support

New employee joins officers at the two-cop-shop.

Local Partners