The Covid-19 pause provides PNG a timely opportunity to recalibrate their management of the Kokoda Trail and work towards developing it as a World class destination based on our shared wartime heritage.

EDITORIAL

We had been leading treks across the Kokoda Trail for 17 years before the Australian Government assumed control of the management of the emerging trekking industry in 2009.

Since then it has been managed as an environmental asset by a environmental officials – rather than as a commercial wartime heritage-tourism asset.

As a result – after 10 years in situ and the expenditure of more than $50 million of aid funding trekker number have declined by more than 40%.

There is not a single management protocol in place; and not a single dollar has been invested in a campsite, toilet or commemorative memorial along the trail.

It is now clear that the name ‘Kokoda‘ has been hijacked by Government officials to support their social-environmental agenda in PNG at the expense of the commemoration of our shared wartime heritage along the trail.

Their adopted name, ‘Kokoda Initiative‘ is a deceptive contradiction that acts to disguise their social-environmental agenda.

Their PNG base allows them to avoid normal oversight procedures that apply in Australia. Criticism is easily deflected with the trite comment that ‘this is what PNG wants!’.

They therefore have no obligation to respond to written concerns; do not acknowledge suggestions for meeting the needs of local communities or trekkers; and do not acknowledge the need to properly honour our shared wartime heritage along the trail.

Covid-19 has exposed the fallacy of their Kokoda policy which is based on the principle of ‘boomerang aid‘. Environmental officials have now boomeranged back to the safety of their homes in Australia without leaving anything in the bank for the people they were supposed to help over the past decade – at taxpayers expense!

Villagers along the trail have returned to subsistence farming without any form of welfare support or economic opportunity.

We have submitted the following blogs, papers, submissions and recommendations over the past 14 years – all have been ignored.

There is some irony in the fact that it might take a pandemic to provide the correction we need to have to protect our shared wartime heritage along the Kokoda Trail and further afield – and to provide sustainable economic future for the landowner communities.
Editorial by Charlie Lynn

2020:

The Kokoda Initiative: Reporting from a parallel universe to the Kokoda Trail!

Call for an Inquiry into the Kokoda Initiative: 2009-2019

Chronology of Facts for the Kokoda Trekking Industry

Kokoda Trail: 75th Anniversary Funding Proposals

Kokoda Day: PNG Gateway to Wartime Tourism

Kokoda: Beyond Covid-19!

Marketing Kokoda’s Wartime Heritage

Adventure Kokoda Funding Proposal for a Kokoda Trail Master Heritage Plan

Kokoda Trail Campsites: A Vision for Post Covid-19!

Marketing Kokoda

2019:

150 Kokoda Porters jobs lost over Anzac period

Kokoda Track Authority – Shonky and Secretive!

Government apathy towards Kokoda

Kokoda Conspiracy: World Heritage – Military Heritage?

The Kokoda Trail:  Official Naming Rights

Hijack of Kokoda Trek Fees!

Welfare of Kokoda Trail Guides and Carriers

Apology to Kokoda Trail Villagers

Covid-19 Trumps the Kokoda Initiative in their endeavour to stop trekking

Much to Repent over the Kokoda Trail

Green Hijack of our Kokoda Heritage on Kokoda

2018:

Australian Prime Ministerial attitudes towards Commemoration

Recommended Action Plan for the 2018 Kokoda Trekking Season

Kokoda Master Plan Missing-In-Action

Kokoda: Time to end the hijack

The Kokoda Trekking Business

Proposal for a Commemorative Segment and ‘Spirit Haus’ at Bomana War Cemetery

OWERS CORNER: How to convert a memorial junkyard into PNGs No 1 Tourism Asset

Kokoda Conspiracy: World Heritage – Military Heritage?

Kokoda: Time for Business

Fuzzy Wuzzy Angel Shame

Kokoda Day: A Tribute to Papua New Guinea’s Unsung Heroes

‘Yes Minister’ alive on Kokoda

END OF AN ERA OF KOKODA MISMANAGEMENT

Why does PNG tolerate ‘blackbirding’ on Kokoda?

Blackbirders on Kokoda – BeAware

Losing Kokoda – The Spectator Magazine

Time for Ms Sue Fitcher to respond to Spectator Magazine re Battle for Kokoda

2017:

A Christmas Reflection on Commemoration

2016:

Time to think about the 75th Anniversary of the Kokoda Campaign

Kokoda Reinterpreted through the Prism of Political Correctness

KTA Strategic Plan: 2012-2015. FAIL

PNG Tourism operating in a parallel universe

Reported Attack and Rape by Cannibals on the Kokoda Trail – Really!

Kokoda Day – Time for Recognition

Kokoda: The Gateway for a Wartime Tourism Industry in PNG

Agriculture – the gateway to community development

2015:

Why Kokoda?

Review of Kokoda Initiative Master Plan

Big stink on Kokoda!

Shame of Kokoda Battlesite

The Kokoda Trail – Official Naming Rights

Potential of the Kokoda Trekking Industry

A Discussion Paper on the Need for Reform of the Kokoda Track Authority (KTA)

2014:

Kokoda Day: Deeds not Words!

2013:

Boomerang Aid Failure on Kokoda

Kokoda Trail: Who owns the naming rights?

KOKODA: Time for a Rethink . . .

Government desecration of Kokoda battlesite condemned

Kokoda: A new frontier for bucket-listers and chanting bogans

Perpetuating the spirit of Kokoda

KOKODA: 2013 in Review

PNG: Wouldn’t it be great if ……

2012:

Military tradition behind the awarding of the Battle Honour: ‘Kokoda Trail’

Battle Honour: ‘Kokoda Trail’

‘The Kokoda Trail’ – it’s about respect for Papua New Guinea and the men who fought across it!

NSW schools to commemorate 70th anniversary of the raising of the flag on Kokoda

Praise heaped on Rod Hillman not justified by the facts!

Removal or War Relics from the Kokoda Trail

THE Spirit of Kokoda – 70 Years On!

2011:

‘Kokoda70’ launched by PNG Prime Minister, The Hon Peter O’Neill MP, on 70th Anniversary of the Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbour

2011 Kokoda Day commemorated in Sydney

Wartime tourism in Papua New Guinea

Kokoda Battlefields have never been ‘lost!’

Wartime Tourism: University of Papua New Guinea Conference

‘McArches’ on Kokoda

New Kokoda Trail Topographical Map

Letter to Reveille re the Kokoda Trail

RSL National Congress Rejects Motion to lobby government to change the name of the ‘Kokoda Trail’ to ‘Kokoda Track’

2010:

Why Kokoda Day?

PNG Payback!

PNG rubs out nose in it

Trekker downturn weighs heavily on Kokoda Porters

Doubts re ‘discovery’ of Captain Sam Templeton

Kokoda Day Proclaimed in PNG

2009:

KOKODA: Response to Class 4 Walking Trails Proposal

Consultants Killing Kokoda!

Kokoda: A Consultant Free Zone!

Kokoda CEO Quits – Cites Intimidation

Kokoda Trek Operator Licensing System

The Kokoda Trekker

Kokoda Sports Development Program

Strategic Plan for Kokoda

The Punch Online: Consultants Killing Kokoda

Kokoda Trek Operator Licensing System

5 deaths too many on Kokoda . . .

Safety Upgrade of the Kokoda Trail

Upgrade for Kokoda fast-tracked

Kokoda code on Track

Military Heritage at risk on the Kokoda Trail

Wire bridges on Kokoda=Bureaucratic vandalism!

Owers Corner Desecration!

Kokoda: Response & Recommendations

Australia to spend $12k on Kokoda refurbishment

Kokoda: Response from the Australian Govt

Kokoda Development Program: 2009-2010

Kokoda Development Program: 2008-2009

Kokoda Trail Livelihood Study

COMING SOON: Kokoda Trail Track Analysis

COMING SOON: Kokoda Trail Social Mapping Study

Kokoda: Stop the bloody rot on the bloody track!

Kokoda: World Heritage or Military Heritage?

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

The Kokoda Trail Villager

The Kokoda Trekker

Kokoda CEO Quits – Cites Intimidation

2008:

Education: A Trekkers Legacy

Lets not forget the villagers along Kokoda?

Kokoda: More than a jungle track!

Kokoda Day: Honouring their Legacy

Kokoda: Stop the Bloody Rot on the Track

Kokoda: Track or Trail?

Kokoda Trail Villagers need charity to!

Kokoda: World Heritage or Military Heritage?

Let’s not forget the villagers along the Kokoda Trail

Military Heritage off track on Kokoda

Need for Empathy with the Melanesian Way

Pacific (PNG) Guest Worker Scheme

Seasonal Labour from the Pacific Region

The Kokoda Trail Villager

2007:

A Discussion Paper on the Kokoda Trekking Industry

Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels deserve a medal

Kokoda Trail Naming Rights

PNG: A difficult place to help

2006:

Kokoda: A Neglected Jungle Shrine