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NTRO launches new partnership with Tonga Ministry of Infrastructure

The collaboration between the NTRO and Tonga’s Ministry of Infrastructure aims to boost Tonga’s transport infrastructure

The National Transport Research Organisation (NTRO) and the Kingdom of Tonga’s Ministry of Infrastructure (MOI) have officially formalised a new collaboration on a Strategic Transport Infrastructure Advisory Program. 

Tonga’s infrastructure minister Sevenitini Toumoua and NTRO CEO Michael Caltabiano welcomed the agreement that aims to enhance Tonga’s transport infrastructure. 

“This new partnership agreement represents a high level of commitment by the government of Tonga to improving our roads, ports and airport,” Toumoua says. 

“As an engineer, I’m very excited about this work with Australia’s NTRO. This means we can now access NTRO’s world class transport laboratory services.  

“At the same time it will help build up and certify our own transport laboratory at the MOI. This will provide scientific and measurement tools we urgently need to help build and maintain Tonga’s transport infrastructure.” 

The collaboration will begin with an early works package involving Tonga’s road, maritime and aviation assets, with the package to specifically focus on materials science, infrastructure measurement, asset performance and strategic transport infrastructure advisory. 

The materials science focus area aims to improve the MOI’s evidence and scientific assessment of local materials for infrastructure projects, while the infrastructure measurement area will focus on building a pathway for road and aviation asset performance and management. 

NTRO’s asset performance experts will commence work on selected aviation and road assets, with the NTRO strategic infrastructure advisory team to focus on examining major infrastructure projects currently under consideration by the MOI. 

NTRO says the early works package serves as a precursor to a proposed 10-year program aimed at enhancing road, port and aviation assets across Tonga. 

NTRO executive director Jason Sprott says the organisation will aim to learn and transfer skills throughout its collaboration with Tonga’s MOI. 

“This agreement signals the commencement of an enduring program where we’ll see significant improvement in sustainable transport infrastructure – being the platform upon which to build a more prosperous and resilient nation,” Sprott says.  

“The early works package has now commenced – we will now work with the Tongan and federal governments to secure approvals for the longer-term 10-year program of works.” 

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