Governor condemns poor payment for locals

Normal, Papua

The National, Monday October 21st, 2013


NORTHERN Governor Gary Juffa has condemned authorities involved in the Kokoda Track for failing to compensate local workers properly.

“Even now trekkers and guides are mainly Australians. There is the question of taxes and its remittance to Kokoda,” he said.

He said the authorities had to be mindful of the needs of the people of Kokoda and share its earnings with them by paying levies and fees for its upkeep. 

“Right now, it is a decaying place and rather shameful. The provincial government and  the Government do not fund the upkeep of Kokoda though they should,” he said. 

“My government is keen to develop Kokoda but needs revenues to do this. Australia and PNG’s most important tourism feature is simply ignored by the governments of PNG and Australia.” 

He has approved funding for Kokoda Day celebrations to be held next month and asked the Australian and PNG governments to contribute to this important day.

It has been gazetted as a national event but receives no funding from both governments. 

A request to the Kokoda Track Authority for funding to host the event is being considered. 

Chief executive officer James Enage said he was keen on working with the people to review the arrangements.