The Punch Online: Consultants Killing Kokoda

Kokoda has claimed more Australian lives this year than Afghanistan.

During the last week two trekkers died on the Kokoda Trail, a couple more were evacuated by helicopter and fourteen went down with food poisoning.  Yesterday a campsite that took years to build at Ofi Creek was burned to the ground over an argument between two landowners. [Read more…]

Kokoda Trek Operator Licensing System

The PNG Kokoda Track Authority (KTA) has announced a licensing system for trek operators. This is effectively an accreditation system – something we at Adventure Kokoda have been advocating for many years. We obviously support this initiative and commend the KTA for the work they have done to bring it about. [Read more…]

5 deaths too many on Kokoda . . .

Five Australians have now died on the Kokoda Trail in recent years. Many more have been evacuated because they were not physically capable of completing the arduous and hazardous trek across the Owen Stanley Ranges in Papua New Guinea.

We do not the cause of death of those who died. We do not know how many have been evacuated, or why, because nobody keeps any records. [Read more…]

Safety Upgrade of the Kokoda Trail

MEDIA RELEASE

The Australian Government has committed $1.8 million to fast-track a range of safety projects along the Kokoda Track.

Australian Heritage Minister, Peter Garrett, and Papua New Guinean Minister for Tourism, Culture and the Arts, Charles Abel, said this initial funding was the first part of a broader program of joint initiatives between the two governments.

The initial $1.8m will be used to undertake safety enhancements at airstrips — including Kokoda, improvements to communications along the Track and maintenance work on the Owers Corner Road. [Read more…]

Upgrade for Kokoda fast-tracked

The following article appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald on 5 September 2009:

The Federal Government will spend $1.8 million to speed up safety projects along the historic Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea – less than a month after a light plane crash in the area claimed 13 lives. [Read more…]

Military Heritage at risk on the Kokoda Trail

There is an urgent need for a re-assessment of Australia’s role in the protection of our military heritage along the Kokoda Trail.

The construction of conventional buildings at Owers Corner and steel wire rope swing bridges across creeks at significant battlesites is akin to desecration of the most significant symbol of our involvement in New Guinea during the Pacific War. [Read more…]

Wire bridges on Kokoda=Bureaucratic vandalism!

The Kokoda Track Authority has advised of a plan to construct permanent swing bridges with cables and metal thread with constructed anchor points capable of taking up to 8 – 10 persons at Eora Creek Crossing, (Dump 1) Eora Creek, Efogi River (between Naduri and Efogi 2), Elomi Creek (between Efogi 1 and Efogi 2), Ofi Creek and Goldie River.

I do not know where these ‘plans’ are coming from but I do know they are being done without any consultation at all with the paying customer i.e. the trekker.

The research we have conducted with a significant number of people who have trekked with Adventure Kokoda over the past 18 years indicates that they want the track left alone. They want to trek in the footsteps of our diggers as they did it. They do not want boardwalks and bridges. [Read more…]

Owers Corner Desecration!

The recent construction of standard buildings with shiny silver iron roofs at Owers Corner illustrates the need for the Office of Australian War Graves to be involved in protecting our military heritage along the Kokoda Trail. 

Owers Corner is a significant site.  It is here that the road ends and the pilgrimage for thousands of Australians begins.  It is where our diggers manhandled massive 25-pounder guns into position to provide heavy fire support to our troops on Imita Ridge for the first time in the Kokoda campaign. [Read more…]

Kokoda: Response & Recommendations

A post by Charlie Lynn:

I appreciate the work that has been done along the Kokoda Trail in regard to providing educational and health support for villagers. Whilst nobody can argue about meeting these important needs I have serious reservations about the process used in determining who should be responsible for the work; the priorities/partnerships associated with it; and the ongoing lack of effective management for trekking operations across the Kokoda Trail. [Read more…]

Australia to spend $12k on Kokoda refurbishment

ABC News: 23 June 2009

Australia will spend $12,000 to refurbish part of the Kokoda Track and build two memorials to Australian service in Papua New Guinea. [Read more…]