Govt blamed for Kokoda Track closure

National, Normal

THE Mt Kodu Resource Owners Association says the temporary closure of the Kokoda Track was caused by the Government’s failure to honour its commitment to the people under the joint Australia and PNG arrangement.
Association chairman Barney Jack said nothing had transpired to indicate that the Government was serious about the socio-economic livelihood of the people at Mt Kodu area since the signing of the arrangement.
“So much commitment has been made but nothing has materialised in the areas of education, water and sanitation and socio-economic projects for the Naoro community,” he said.
“The Kokoda development programme needs to be speeded up to satisfy the commitments. We will hold on to the closure of the trail until we voice our grievances to Deputy Prime Minister Dr Puka Temu,” he said.
Mr Jack remained optimistic that they would come to an understanding soon enough and the Kokoda Track would proceed with the opening of the trekking season without any further disruptions.
“I need to send a clear message to the Government that the communities are serious about the commitments.
“I also want to make it clear that we are not in anyway opposed to trekking or ecotourism but there are certain outstanding issues that the National Government needs to address,” he added.