Landowners close Kokoda Track

By Simon Eroro - Post Courier

The Mt Kodu landowners with the support of 13 villagers along the Kokoda Track including the Isurava battlefield area have closed down the Kokoda Track.

The landowner's spokesman Barney Jack said yesterday that the decision for the closing was to show the people's frustration over the failure by the Papua New Guinea and Australian governments to deliver its Kokoda Development Program (KDP).

Mr Jack  said the deal was signed between the two governments in Madang in 2008, after the landowners protested. They wanted Australian-owned mining company , Frontier Resources to mine the proposed Mt Kodu mine which was supposed to be developed near the track. He said Deputy Prime Minister Sir Puka Temu in many instances assured the leandowners of both the government's commitment in funding the development package but nothing had been done.

The chairman of the Kokoda Track Authority James Enage when contacted said the closure of the track was spear-headed by individuals with vested interests, not genuine, and trying to convince the locals to gain support.
Mr Enage said the delivery of the project was at a snail's pace because of the difficulty with the relocation of many villagers to their little hamlets over the past 10 years but assured the project which include schools, health services and water supply were within the timeframe.

He said the landowners were scheduled to meet with Sir Puka on Wednesday to push for a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the government and the Mt Koda landowners so that nobody "takes advantage to fool the landowners".



Design in CSS by TemplateWorld and sponsored by SmashingMagazine
Blogger Template created by Deluxe Templates