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…]

Kokoda: Response from the Australian Govt

A post by Robyn Kruk, Secretary of the Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts:

Dear Charlie,

As a trekker who walked the Kokoda Track with you in 2007, and now as the Head of the Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts I would like to respond to the concerns you have recently raised publicly in relation to Australia’s efforts to assist PNG to protect the Kokoda Track. I note that some of these points have already been outlined in other correspondence to you from this department. [Read more…]

Kokoda: Stop the bloody rot on the bloody track!

A recent proposal to mine part of the Kokoda Trail caused a public outcry that resulted in the Australian government entering into a ‘Joint Understanding’ with the PNG Government to protect the track and its environs from possible mining or logging activity.  Among the objectives is an agreement is to assist the PNG Government in undertaking a feasibility study for a possible World Heritage nomination. [Read more…]

Kokoda: World Heritage or Military Heritage?

Kokoda is a powerful word. According to the Orokaiva ‘koko’ means place of skulls – ‘da’ is village. The combination of syllables conjures up thoughts of ‘ adventure’ – mystery – danger’  in the minds of sedentary beings.

And no wonder.  Orokaiva warriors fearlessly resisted incursions into the Yodda valley when gold was discovered in the late 19th Century.  Many early explorers and missionaries ended up in village cooking pots as they were stalked in the remote jungle-clad mountain ranges. [Read more…]

KTA Response to ‘Kokoda: World Heritage or Military Heritage’

My name is Rod Hillman and I am the current Chief Executive of the Kokoda Track Authority and feel it appropriate for me to say a few things.

1. I respect Charlie Lynn as a leader and for the work he has done both on the Kokoda Track and with his company Adventure Kokoda. I have met with Charlie and some of his tour leaders and believe we have a mutual respect. He has put together a strong and qualified team and whilst we don’t always agree we do talk and discuss issues surrounding the Kokoda Track. [Read more…]

Kokoda CEO Quits – Cites Intimidation

The news that the interim Executive Officer of the PNG Kokoda Track Authority, Annette Dean, quit her job and returned home to Tasmania is no surprise. She cited death threats, corruption and daily demands for money as the normal challenges she faced in her job. She needed a security escort to get from the carpark to her office in Boroko each day.

Annette’s credentials for the job were never in question but whoever made the decision that a white woman could work effectively in the KTA office environment in Boroko was naive in the extreme. They certainly did not listen to her predecessor, Warren Bartlett. [Read more…]

Military Heritage off track on Kokoda

The Kokoda campaign, along with other campaigns in Melanesia, has been ignored by successive Australian governments since the end of the Pacific War. A proposal to mine part of the Kokoda Trail caused them to focus attention on what is regarded as a neglected jungle shrine. [Read more…]