Monday, May 11, 2009

Kokoda Track breakthrough

THE barricades at Kovelo Village were taken down last night allowing trekkers free passage along the renowned Kokoda Track.

A representative of the Kokoda Track Authority met with the local community and has resolved most of the outstanding issues.

“This is a great outcome” stated Kokoda Track Authority Chairman, James Enage, who travelled to the community to negotiate a resolution at the weekend.

“Talking together and sharing our concerns allowed us to work through these very challenging issues. We believe there is a solution and at the Management Committee meeting tomorrow we will explore options to provide a long term and equitable resolution.”

“Any new system takes time to settle in and this issue is an example of this settling in process. The trekking season only began in March and some collected monies are ready to go out to communities as soon as a fair and reasonable process is put into place. There is an important legislative process that exists, ward development committees, but it has not been implemented in this area to date.  The KTA does not want to hold the money any longer than it has to, but we do want to ensure that it gets to the right people,” said Rod Hillman, the KTA Chief Executive.

The current Kokoda Track Authority is governed by a management committee comprised of Papua New Guinean national, provincial and local-level government officials, one landowner representative from Kokoda and another from Koiari. The management committee directs the actions of a small management team based in Port Moresby.



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