The National, Monday November 4th, 2013
By BENNY GETENG
NORTHERN Governor Gary Juffa wants to remove the Kokoda Track Authority next year.
He said the provincial government would create another body for operators to register with and pay provincial levy fees to use the Kokoda track.
“Levy fees will be imposed on every trekker walking the track and the fees will be used to maintain the Northern portion of the track and the Kokoda station,” he said.
“Tour operators will register with the Investment Promotion Authority (IPA) and Internal Revenue Commission (IRC).
“Foreign trek guides will have to abide by foreign employment laws and regulations.
“Other requirements will include safety and health of porters and tour guides to be restricted to Papua New Guineans. Failure to adhere will lead to refusal to walk the track.”
Juffa warned foreign entities using Kokoda to refrain from carrying out any activities along the track or station without consulting the Northern government.
“We all welcome help but the Oro (Northern) provincial government will not allow an uncoordinated and sometimes unsustainable effort even if the intentions are good,” he said.
“Anyone coming to Kokoda to help must obtain permission from the authorities and ensure that they abide by laws in place and their efforts are well coordinated to ensure maximum benefit.”
Juffa said a review of Kokoda Track Authority’s effort indicated that it was not benefiting the people of Kokoda as much as it should.
He said the provincial government was keen to keep the track open for trekkers, tourists and those keen to visit the site.