Author: Charlie

My 1991 Kokoda Reconnaissance

I was excited at the prospect of bearing witness to the stories I had read and heard from my father who served as an infantryman in New Guinea and about Kokoda.  Ever since I was a boy the memory of thousands of our veterans marching behind battle honours emblazoned with names such as Kokoda, Deniki, Isurava, Templeton’s Crossing and Eora Creek was etched in my mind.

I was excited at the prospect of exploring the Kokoda Trail bur disappointed to learn there was such little information about the conditions of the Trail itslef – no reliable maps no information on the Trail itself.

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CHAPTER 5: Parliamentary Speeches Re the Kokoda Trail by the Hon Charlie Lynn MLC: 1998-2015

During my time in the New South Wales Parliament as a Member of the Legislative Council established the first ever Australia-Papua New Guinea Friendship Group and hosted numerous official functions for the PNG Consul-General, Mr Sumasy Singin. I also facilitated a meeting between the Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare MP and the NSW Premier, The Hon Bob Carr MP. I used the platform to raise issues of importance in regard to the need to protect and honour our shared wartime heritage on the Kokoda Trail.

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CHAPTER 21: Kokoda Trail Management – The Way Ahead

By 2015 the mismanagement of Kokoda tourism was patently obvious.

On the Trail itself illegal tour companies operated without fear of sanction; guides, porters and campsite owners continued to be exploited; villagers were mere spectators to a passing parade of trekkers because they had not been trained in providing goods and services to meet their needs; there were no management systems in place so the ‘law of the jungle’ prevailed along the Trail which led to disputes over campsites between trek groups; environmental degradation; and the desecration of heritage sites. And annua trekker numbers remained stuck 46 percent lower than when the DFAT Kokoda Initiative took control of the management from PNG in 2009.

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