A cut above: Deutscher Mowers development manager Laurie Treadwell and office manager Peter Clifton with one of the mowers to be imported to Papua New Guinea.
Ballaratmanufacturing companyDeutscher Mowers is preparing to ship 20 locally-made, heavy duty mowers toPapua New Guinea tomaintainrural and highland airstrips across the country.
Office managerPeter Clifton said Deutscher Mowers hadexported productsin smaller quantities into PNG for use by various missions and government departments in the past, however the latest Rural Airstrip Agencycontract was an incredible accomplishment for the local employer.
“We are very pleased to be the supplier of mowers for this project. Since implementation, they have met the approval of both PNG parliamentarians and public servants, as they can see the many benefits provided to those living in remote communities,” he said.
“Indications are, RAA expect to purchase two containers of Deutscher mowers each year for this project, which we are hoping isongoing for many years to come.”
There are approximately 700 airstrips built in PNG, howevermost cannot be used due to deterioration and neglect.
Many of these airstrips were originally constructed by allied forces during World War II.
Recently, the PNG government commissioned the Rural Airstrip Agency to reopen and maintain rural airstrips throughout the country.Once reopened, the airstrips need to be mowed regularly and maintained to a level that allows light aircraft to operate safely.
Mr Clifton said theDeutscher mowers were the perfect fit because of the size and power of the model allowed it to be flown in and out on a regular basis.
“In 2014, the Rural Airstrip Agency conducted a pilot program using our product and found they were ideal for these conditions,” he said.
“They are able to fit the mower into a small plane and fly it to the airstrip, where a local villager is employed to maintain the airstrip and perform basic mechanical services on the mowers themselves.
“RAA plans to regularly send two Papua New Guinea men to Ballarat for specialist training in servicing and repair of Deutscher mowers.On their return, these men will be responsible for the fly-in/fly-out servicing of our airstrip mowers.”
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