DVA Funds allocated for commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the end of the War in the Pacific should be restricted to honouring and interpreting the sacrifice of our troops in Papua and New Guinea from 1942-45.

As a key principle they should be directed towards projects that will assist in the generation of income earning opportunities for Papua New Guineans based on our shared wartime heritage.

Commemorative projects must remain separate from DFAT aid-funded activities relating to capacity building, mentoring, social mapping, community development etc along the trail. Programs initiated by Australian environmental officials in these areas, under the guise of a ‘Kokoda Initiative’ over the past decade, have been less than successful.

In the lead-up to the 70th Anniversary of the Kokoda campaign in 2012 Network Kokoda invested $70,000 in the development of a ‘Funding Proposal for a Heritage Interpretation Plan and Implementation Strategy for the Kokoda Trail’. Michael Pender of HPA Projects was engaged to develop the report which can be viewed on this link.

The report concluded: 

  • There is little interpretation of ‘Kokoda Trail’ Heritage; Natural. Cultural or Military on the site itself.
  • Most of the current interpretation is by private donors, is in poor condition and presents an ad hoc, incoherent approach to the stories, events, actions and environment.
  • An overall plan for interpretation on the Trail is warranted as one of the key means of safeguarding and protecting the sites heritage.
  • An interpretive strategy focused on the trail’s history, its heritage and its special nature is the first step to enshrining the Kokoda Trail for future generations of both Australians and Papua New Guineans.
  • Deploying permanent interpretation (consistent with an overall plan) will enhance the visitor experience whilst enshrining the environments core values and heritage.
  • Deploying permanent interpretation (consistent with an overall plan) provides (demonstrably) opportunities of sustainable long-term development for the traditional landowners.

The Pender report remains valid in the lead up to the 75th Anniversary of the War in the Pacific in 2020.

Considerations

Wartime Tourism

‘From Kokoda in the north to Owers Corner in the south, a sinuous trail through an ancient landscape has captured the imagination of Australians and become a must read about, must know about or ‘must do’ experience’. Michael Pender

Recent interest in wartime tourism indicates that it has considerable potential as a niche industry for PNG tourism.  This is evident in the rapid increase in the number of trekkers since the 50th anniversary of the Kokoda campaign in 1992 when less than 100 trekkers crossed the trail each year – since then more than 50,000 Australians have trekked across it.

‘Kokoda’ is almost the complete adventure experience for Australian baby-boomers and young adventurers.  It requires physical stamina and mental tenacity. The wartime history evokes strong emotions.  The unconditional care and support of local PNG guides and villagers is humbling. The environment is rugged, remote and pristine.

Beyond Kokoda are wartime adventures in Rabaul, Milne Bay, Buna, Gona, Salamaua, Nadzab, Lae, Finchafen, the Finisterre Ranges, Death Valley, Shaggy Ridge, Madang and Wewak.  These are not only different battlesites – they are inhabited by different cultures with different traditions that create an adventurous smorgasbord. 

The long-term benefits of wartime tourism extend far beyond the tourism industry.  These include the protection of our shared wartime heritage; a sustainable source of income for local landowners; and an empathetic gateway for a better understanding of our cultural differences.   

People who participate in these niche adventure s are generally more aware of the sensitivities of culture and environment and do not expect 5-star accommodation and service. They are also more tolerant of ‘surprises’ that are often experienced in the ‘land of the unexpected’.

Their needs are simple. They want to learn about the military history of the campaign. They want cultural interaction. They want clean ablution blocks. They want to feel safe.

The Kokoda Trail has the potential to be a model for the development of a wartime tourism industry for PNG. An essential component for such a model is a Master Plan to honour and interpret the wartime history of the campaign and to properly manage the environment of the place.

World Heritage

A 2015 report from an Australian expert on World Heritage listings, Peter Hitchcock AM, Dr Jennifer Gabriel and Dr Matthew Leavesley concluded that the Kokoda Trail does not meet the criteria for a World Heritage listing:

‘Given the on-going threat to heritage values by mining and other development activities, no part of the Kokoda Track and Owen Stanley Ranges Tentative Listed area should be considered for formal nomination as a World Heritage area until such time as an adequate extent of high value areas is formally protected. Given this prerequisite, it may be years before a suitable tract of land is protected and worth considering for World Heritage nomination.’

The report remains relevant and should be reconsidered for the 75th Anniversary of the end of the War in the Pacific in 2020. It can be viewed on this link.

In 2017 Professor Joan Beaumont of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre has advised[i] that the Kokoda Trail does not meet the criteria for a World Heritage listing, and even if it did, ‘it would be unlikely to ensure the military values of the Track are guaranteed’[ii].

The First Joint Understanding signed in Madang on 23 April 2008 provided for the ‘Preservation of the water catchment in the Owen Stanley Ranges for future power and water supply for Port Moresby’.

The has since been negated by the construction of the Edevu Hydro Project by the Chinese Government which incorporates a dam on the Brown River.

More detailed information on the fallacy of World Heritage for the Kokoda Trail can be found on this link,

Stakeholders

The two relevant stakeholders to consider in our approach to commemoration in PNG are:

  1. The Paying Customer.
    Without paying customers in PNG all that remains is a welfare dependent economy in a subsistence farming environment.
  2. The Landowners
    Land in PNG is owned by traditional custodians. If their needs are not met nothing will happen.

All other individuals and groups are ‘interested parties’.

National Museum and Art Gallery

An original intent for the inclusion of an interpretation centre at Bomana War Cemetery was not supported by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission because it did not accord with the Principles of Commemoration.

A compromise proposal to develop an interpretive centre at the PNG National Museum and Art Gallery should also be rejected because It will not generate any additional earning opportunities for communities along the trail nor will it generate any additional visitors.

The National Museum and Art Gallery is a premier tourism destination in its own right for international visitors to Port Moresby. Research into the history of the Papua and New Guinean wartime carriers has been conducted and their stories have already been curated by the Museum.

Travel itineraries for the majority of the 3000 plus Australian trekkers who cross the trail each year do not allow time for visits to other attractions in Port Moresby.

A Kokoda interpretive centre on the grounds of the National Museum and Art Gallery would therefore compete with the value of the experience rather than complement it.

Recommended Projects

This report recommends commemorative projects that will generate income for traditional landowners along the Kododa Trail. It is based upon our experience with commemoration; local village communities; and Australian trekkers over the past 29 years.

1. Owers Corner

Owers Corner is the gateway to the Kokoda Trail from Port Moresby however there is little in the way of explanation as to the sites cultural, natural or military heritage.

Over the past decade more than 50,000 trekkers have passed through the site however the benefit to local landowner communities has been miniscule due to the lack of engagement with them and the lack of a plan to develop the site as a commemorative centre. The ad hoc nature of existing ‘monuments’ do not provide any military or cultural interpretation.

The site has the potential to be the most visited place in Papua New Guinea due to its road access from Port Moresby; the recent boom in luxury hotels in the city; and an increase in cruise ship visits.

Recent discussions with the Governors of the National Capital District and Central Province indicate a willingness for the site to be developed as a Commemorative Centre modelled on the Indigenous Centre at Mossman Gorge; the Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway at Concord; and a traditional Koiari village.

The site requires a detailed architectural plan and an agreement with the local landowner communities.

The site plan could allow for a phased development:

  • Phase 1 should incorporate a commemorative space based on the Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway at Concord and a traditional Koiari village area with treehouses and an area for cultural displays.
  • Phase 2 should incorporate a Visitors Centre based on the Mossman Gorge with a café, gift shop and theatre.

2. Brigade Hill

Brigade Hill is a natural citadel. apparently inviolable, at the summit of Mission Ridge, just south of Efogi. The summit and jungle clad flanks command a strong defensive position. Potts’ troops were strung out ahead, between the summit and the ridge’s north facing foothills, overlooking old Efogi, a distance of about one mile or so along the track. The fresh 2/27th Battalion was at the vanguard on the hills near the approaches to the enemy held village.’
Paul Ham

The site had been bypassed and reclaimed by the jungle for many years after the war. It was not until the landowner, Siosi Liaimo led our group to it in the lead up to the 50th Anniversary of the campaign in 1992 that it was ‘rediscovered’. Siosi advised us that he was 15 years old when he was asked to help bury soldiers who had been KIA after the battle – he had marked each grave on what was an ‘interim gravesite’ with a stick. The bodies were later repatriated to Bomana War Cemetery however fragments of human remains remain in the graves along with boots, webbing and bayonets.

Knowledge of this evokes strong emotions from trekkers who reach the site after some hard slogging.

‘I have been profoundly moved and affected by the Kokoda experience.  I went thinking it would be a physical challenge and a bit of an adventure . . .  how wrong was I!  A physical challenge it certainly was but this was a minor issue to what Anna and I experienced.  The history, the emotion, the Papuans . . . it will never leave me now . . . I am still trying to put it all together in my mind . . . but at the same time, passionate to make a difference.  You have touched Anna and I with your enthusiasm, passion and history . . . I will never forget your recital of WX Unknown on that misty night at Brigade Hill at 8.30 pm.

“Charlie, thank you for such a splendid experience . . . one we shall both carry to the grave.  You have empowered us to do something . . . correct a wrong perhaps . . . to facilitate the Kokoda story being told to our children and thereafter to all Australians and to have appropriate memorials to these diggers who all fought under such hardship for the freedom we enjoy today”.
Dr David Dunn

A Heritage Plan for Brigade Hill should incorporate a memorial feature with the names of those KIA and MIA from the battle.

The plan should also provide for the linkage between the top of the feature and Mission Ridge. This could be achieved with interpretive signage and by routing today’s track down the original trail over Mission Ridge and back up to Efogi village. I have mapped this route and it is actually a better track than the one that leads to the village today. A ‘Mission Hut’ could then be built from bush material to replicate the original hut which led to the name of the ridge.

3. The Kokoda Plateau

‘Alongside the Kokoda memorial is the Memorial of the native carriers of the Kokoda Trail, also called the ‘Papuan carriers’ memorial.  This memorial, initiated and funded by Bert Kienzle, was dedicated on 2 November 1959.  A third memorial was built by the Japan- Papua New Guinea Goodwill Society in February 1980, it was dedicated to all of the campaign’s war dead (Japanese, Australian, and Papuan).  There are also other commemorative plaques in the station’s grounds.

‘The Kokoda ‘Memorial Museum’ is a small shed containing information panels. The ‘Museum’ features static interpretation and photographs.

‘It is ageing and rarely open.’
Michael Pender

The Kokoda plateau is a significant heritage site deserving of a specific heritage interpretation plan to incorporate the layout of the defensive position when the plateau was first attacked on 29 July 1942 – and the raising of the Australian flag on the 3rd November 1942.

A project worthy of consideration is the construction of an ‘art gallery’ on the steps of the old Administration building. It would reflect both the wartime and cultural heritage of the place. The gallery would be clad on the outside with bush material to give it a traditional feel. A new flagpole could be constructed on the original site.

4. Kokoda Day

A proposal to proclaim the 3rd November as ‘Kokoda Day’ to honour the legacy of PNGs wartime carriers was accepted by the PNG National Executive Council in 2011 however it was redesignated ‘Fuzzy Wuzzy Angel Day’ by a group of Ministers from the Sepik region who, according to Dame Carol Kidu, argued that ‘Kokoda was getting enough attention!

This effectively neutralised the potential of the day and it has since slipped back into oblivion.

Consideration should be given to the development of a ‘Joint Kokoda Declaration’ between Australia and PNG. The purpose of the declaration would be to provide assistance to PNG to identify, protect, honour and interpret sites significant to our shared wartime heritage throughout PNG.

According to Michael Pender:

‘As a developing nation Papua New Guinea has numerous problems; governance, health, education and law the ‘major issues’.  As the custodians it is not surprising that protection of heritage for PNG comes low down the priority list’.

They are also subject to complex inter-tribal jealousies that can impede a national approach to issues. Notwithstanding this the younger generation is becoming increasing proud of the heritage of their wartime carriers

Australia can assist in supporting the concept of ‘Kokoda Day’ through the conduct of a re-enactment flag-raising service on the 3rd November each year; the production of Kokoda Day Service Booklet for distribution to schools throughout PNG; and development of a website and support for a social media campaign each year.

Kokoda Day on the plateau would include traditional and sing-sings from Orokaiva cultural groups in the morning and an annual NRL football match between the Koiari and Orokaiva in the afternoon.

The upgrade of the Popondetta airport provides an opportunity for Australians of all ages to attend the service and include a tour of the battlesites at Buna, Gona and Sanananda.

A draft ‘Joint Kododa Heritage Declaration’ is attached.

5. Completion of Assembly Hall at Iaowari High School

Iaowari High School offers the opportunity for a ‘community commemorative project’.

The school was the former Army School of Signals which trained Australian and American radio operators – today it occupies the site and many of the original buildings built in 1942.

Network Kokoda has been involved with the school over the past decade. We engaged an agricultural graduate from the area to establish a commercial fish farm and extensive market gardens to assist in improving the nutrition of the boarding students and to provide them with a source of revenue.

We were able to invite the University of Western Sydney to participate in 3-year agricultural research project to assist the school under the Colombo Plan.

The Richmond Rotary Club has agreed to assist us in funding a new outdoor kitchen area.

As a result of our partnership with the school it is being transformed into an agricultural college.

The school, which up to 800 students, needs an assembly hall. Work commenced on a building almost a decade ago but somebody withing the Education Department absconded with approximately half-a-million dollars after the roof was completed.

An assembly hall with a display of photo’s, art and stories interpreting PNGs role in the war would be a worthy commemorative project.

6. Isurava Campsite

The Isurava Memorial stands as a monument to vision and sound planning based on the Principles of Commemoration. The memorial itself has taken on a spiritual proportion since it was completed in 2002.

Unfortunately camping facilities adjacent to the memorial seem to have been a budget-restricted afterthought. The opportunity to provide a model campsite for landowners in other areas across the trail was therefore missed.

The commemorative period offers a timely opportunity to develop a simple campsite model that meets the needs of trekkers and their PNG support crews across the trail.

Additional Funding Sources

Additional funding sources are available via Ex-Service Organizations such as the RSL and Legacy and corporate donors however these are dependent on the development of a Master Plan for the trail.

Responsibility for the development of a Master Plan should rest with the Department of Veterans Affairs in collaboration with the Australian War Memorial, the PNG Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, and the RSL (represented by the Port Moresby Branch).

Any initiatives for private memorials of any kind should be approved by them.

Historical Enhancements to the Kokoda Experience

Lake Myola

Lake Myola was the major logistic base for the advance towards Kokoda. There is nothing to interpret the story on the site today.

It would be both simple and economical to replicate the hospital by rigging a few old tents with interpretation panels at the site.

In 1979 a Ford Trimotor was recovered from Lake Myola to Port Moresby for restoration – which never happened! The aircraft was relocated to the National Museum and Art Gallery but is more of an aberration that an asset to what is essentially a cultural museum.

The relocation of the aircraft to its original location at Lake Myola will enhance the trekker experience.

Local landowners would be paid a fee to maintain the site.

Eora Creek

The old Eora Creek village site was the scent of one of the most desperate and dramatic scenes of the Australian withdrawal after the battel of Isurava. The site was photographed by Damien Parer and the story was captured by Osmar White in his book ‘Green Armour’.

Today there is nothing on the site apart from a brass plaque installed by a private donor.

Local landowners of the site could be paid a fee to build a replica of the old village and maintain it. Interpretive panels could be installed to tell the story of both the withdrawal and the advance.

Replica Statues

Lifesize replica statues could be installed at key locations to remind trekkers of the significance of their pilgrimage. These could include:

  • A group of ‘fuzzy-wuzzy angels’ carrying a wounded digger on a steep section of the trail to remind them of the impossibility of the challenges they faced in evacuating our troops ‘to safety and the care of doctors at the bottom of the track!’
  • An Australian patrol representing a forward scout, a second scout, a patrol commander, a signalman, a machine gunner and four riflemen in patrol formation through the Templeton’s Crossing area.
  • A surgical team operating on a patient in a hospital tent at Lake Myola
  • A mortar crew with 3” mortars at Lake Myola 2.
  • A command group at Imita Ridge

Funding for individual statues could be sought from RSL Sub-Branches and clubs, corporate donors and/or individuals.

Conclusion

The Kokoda Trail is as important to Australia’s military heritage as Gallipoli.

Unfortunately, the Department of Veterans Affairs was relegated to a minor role when responsibility for the trail was allocated to the Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA) after a threat to mine part of the southern section in 2006. As a result, the objective of assisting PNG to prepared a case for a World Heritage Listing for the Owen Stanley Ranges (including the Kokoda Trail) and the environmental protection of the Brown River Catchment Area took priority over the significance of the military heritage of the trail.

A recent report from three experts on World Heritage, Mr Peter Hitchcock AM, Dr Jennifer Gabriel and Dr Matthew Leavesley and the construction of a dam on the Brown River exposed the fallacy of proceeding with the proposal.

The system put in place by DEWHA officials for the management of the Kokoda Trail in 2009 has been a demonstrable failure. The management authority has not produced an Annual Report or an audited Financial Statement for the past 10 years; has not produced a newsletter for five years; and does not have a single management protocol in place. As a result, local villagers across the trail are being deprived of significant earning opportunities from the Kokoda trekking industry.

The extent of the failure was evident in the call by the former Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, to call for a review. The review was conducted by the same officials who were associated with the problem and it has now into its third year without a resolution. This surely has to be a world record for an office with six staff!

The situation will continue to degenerate until a professional free enterprise management system is put in place with landowner groups across the trail as shareholders.

The allocation of $10 million by Veterans Affairs to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the end of the War in the Pacific is a timely and welcome relief to those interested in protecting our military heritage along the Kokoda Trail and other significant battlesites throughout PNG.

Recommendations

We recommend that commemorative funds be restricted to projects that will assist in the generation of income earning opportunities for Papua New Guineans based on our sharedwartime heritage.

The following priority of work is therefore recommended for consideration:

  1. Adoption of the Network Kokoda ‘Pender Report’ and the development of a Master Heritage Interpretation Plan for the Kokoda Trail;
  2. The development of a Commemorative Centre at Owers Corner;
  3. The development of an interpretive memorial at Brigade Hill;
  4. The development of a Military-Cultural Art Gallery at Kokoda;
  5. Support for the proclamation of ‘Kokoda Day’ on the 3rd November each year;
  6. Completion of the Assembly Hall at Iaowari High School with the inclusion of a photographic art gallery incorporated into it; and
  7. The development of a model campsite at the Isurava Memorial.

Attachment:

Proposed Joint Understanding on the Shared Wartime Heritage between PNG and Australia

Preamble

The most relevant guide to the potential of a wartime tourism industry in PNG is the continued growth in Australians making the pilgrimage to Gallipoli.

Each year up to 9,000 Australians visit the Dawn Service at Anzac Cove. Thousands more visit it at other times of the year. It is now becoming a pilgrimage for more than a million Turkish people also visiting Gallipoli each year.

Papua New Guinea is the principal custodian of sites sacred to the wartime heritage of Australia, America and Japan. It therefore has the potential to be a world class wartime tourism destination for pilgrims from each of these countries. The emergence of Kokoda as PNGs most popular tourism destination since the 50th anniversary of the Kokoda campaign in 1992 is a key indicator of this potential.

‘Kokoda’ is almost the complete adventure experience for Australian baby-boomers and young adventurers. It requires physical stamina and mental tenacity. The wartime history evokes strong emotions. The unconditional care and support of local PNG guides and villagers is humbling. The environment is rugged, remote and pristine.

Many trekkers have invited their PNG guides to Australia to meet families and friends after they return. Many more are willing to contribute to agricultural, health and education initiatives to assist local villages as demonstrated in the attached report.

Beyond Kokoda are wartime adventures in Rabaul, Milne Bay, Buna, Gona, Salamaua, Nadzab, Lae, Finchafen, the Finisterre Ranges, Death Valley, Shaggy Ridge, Madang and Wewak. These are not only different battlesites – they are inhabited by different cultures with different traditions that create an adventurous smorgasbord. The 75th anniversary period from 2017 – 2020 will lead to increased numbers of Australians visiting these locations if PNG Tourism develops a wartime tourism strategy to develop and market these significant locations.

Wartime tourism is not restricted to trekkers. It has the capacity for wartime cruises to Port Moresby, Milne Bay, Lae, Madang, Wewak, Aitape, Manus, Rabaul, Bougainville and the Solomon’s. Imagine an Anzac Dawn Service at Owers Corner; a showcase of PNG culture along Ela Beach; a ‘Beating-of-the-Retreat’ at Bomana War Cemetery followed by a 7-day Pacific War Cruise to each of the significant coastal/island battlesites.

The most important challenge for PNG is to develop a sustainable model that can be applied to each area. The development of the Kokoda trekking industry provides a timely opportunity for a case study as the basis for developing such a model for wartime tourism.

Vision

The Governments of Papua New Guinea and Australia have a vision for the development of a wartime tourism industry that includes:

  1. Adherence to the Commonwealth Principles of Commemoration established in 1917;
  2. Identification, interpretation and protection of significant battlesites;
  3. Acknowledgement of the ownership of traditional custodians of the land at each site;
  4. Respect for the culture of the traditional custodians of the land;
  5. Protection of the environment surrounding each site;
  6. Meeting the safety, health and educational needs of tourists and trekkers; and
  7. Developing the Kokoda Trail as a management model for significant wartime heritage sites throughout PNG.

Guiding Principles

To achieve this vision, the Governments have set down the following guiding principles:

  1. This is a PNG led, Australian supported joint initiative to support environmentally sustainable wartime tourism development that delivers real benefits to local communities;
  2. This understanding has been developed within the guiding principles of the PNG – Australia Development Cooperation Strategy 2006 – 2010;
  3. Partnerships will be built between the two Governments, and there will be a cooperative, mutually determined engagement process with traditional landowners and local communities within the vicinity of significant battlesites in PNG; and
  4. Papua New Guinea processes and systems (government, community and private sector) will be used wherever possible for new and enhanced services to assist local communities.

Objectives of the Understanding

Economic and social objectives

The Australian Government will work together with the Papua New Guinea Government to assist it in its efforts to achieve:

  1. An improved standard of living, quality of life, and access to basic services for communities in the vicinity of significant battlesites;
  2. Improved opportunities for income generation, through the following:
    1. sharing benefits from wartime tourism through better distribution of visitation fees and development of local income generation opportunities (business and employment);
    1. improved access to markets (transport) for other income generation opportunities; and
    1. The preservation of social and cultural values of the communities within and adjacent to significant battlesite areas.

Environmental Objectives

The Governments of Papua New Guinea and Australia will work towards ensuring the impacts of wartime tourism are managed to deliver clear net environmental benefits for local communities.

Management objectives

The PNG and Australian Governments will put in place the necessary resources and structures to develop a management model which provides for professional business systems and ownership of the resource by traditional custodians of the land.

Implementation outcomes and actions

The PNG and Australian Governments will cooperate in developing and delivering practical activities and processes to achieve the broad outcomes listed below. Some activities will proceed immediately, while others will take some time to be designed and implemented.

Significant Wartime Battlesites

The PNG and Australian Governments will work together to ensure wartime tourism delivers real and increasing benefits to landowners and communities of significant battlesite areasw through the establishment of effective management arrangements. Particular areas of focus include ensuring visitors fees are transparently managed and deliver benefits to local communities; that tourist visitations are well managed; and that effective landowner consultation processes are in place.

To assist the PNG Government in achieving these outcomes, the Australian Government will provide immediate project management, financial and legal expertise and assistance.

Analysis of potential future benefit streams and livelihoods

The PNG and Australian Governments will identify potential benefit streams and improved livelihoods for landowners of significant battlesite areas through the following activities:

  1. Assessments to quantify the possible benefit streams for landowners;
  2. An economic participation study to cover such options as agriculture, food services for visitors and participation in delivering development programs; and
  3. A tourism benefits study to consider options for tourism-related income generation related to local cultural activities, guides, food service, souvenirs, art and artefacts.

The Kokoda Trail

Working together, the Governments of PNG and Australia will support the sustainable development of the Kokoda Trail as a model for a wartime tourism industry. Outcomes to be pursued include:

  1. Increased access to safe water, improved sanitation and environmental health for local communities and trekkers, through support for installation and management of water systems and toilets at a range of locations. Implementation will be in line with national minimum standards, with active community participation.
  2. Functioning elementary and primary schools, in line with national and provincial education policies, and improved access to secondary, technical and vocational education.
  3. Functioning aid posts providing primary healthcare services, with the Kokoda Rural Health Centre providing secondary health services and support to aid posts.
  4. Improved access to markets and services, in line with the outcomes of a transport feasibility study to be undertaken.
  5. Potential village-scale power solutions will be considered as part of additional medium- term program design.

Capacity Building

The PNG and Australian Governments will work jointly towards improving human capacity within key PNG Government agencies to manage the development and delivery of long term sustainable benefits to landowners. This will be undertaken through the provision of technical and other expert advice.

Implementation

Oversight

Implementation of this Joint Understanding will be overseen by the Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture and the Australian Minister for Veterans Affairs and supported by whole of Government Taskforces in Australia and PNG. Program review will be undertaken annually by Ministers, with ongoing review by Taskforces.

Resources

The PNG and Australian Governments will mutually determine their contributions to the implementation of the activities and processes above. The Governments will put in place arrangements for ensuring that these activities can be progressed efficiently.

Monitoring

The Governments accept that monitoring will begin at the same time as implementation begins, with a monitoring framework to be developed as part of the design process. The design of the overall program of work from this Joint Understanding for Commemoration will take place within six months. Taskforces will be responsible for annual reporting to Ministers, with more regular oversight by high level officials.

Timeframe

This Joint Understanding for Commemoration will last for two years. The program of work described herein will be reviewed at two years and a second phase (Phase II) of this program mutually arranged. A high-level review in two years time will enable the review of this program to be coordinated with the planned wider review of Australia’s current development assistance program to PNG.

Signed in Port Moresby on

The Hon Emil Tammur MP Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture Government of Papua New Guinea The Hon Darren Chester MP Minister for Veterans Affairs Government of Australia