7 Feb 2018

Kokoda landowners blockade historic WW2 track in PNG

11:36 am on 7 February 2018

Landowners have closed off the famous Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea in protest against management of the historically important area.

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Hut on the Kokoda trail Photo: Adventure Kokoda / Charlie Lynn / Facebook

According to the newspaper, The Australian, a blockade was mounted at Sogeri, the start of the iconic World War II battlefield trek, at the weekend.

Those behind the blockade, the Kokoda Track Landowners Task Force Committee sent a media release to trekking companies last month.

It complained of the landowners being "economically suppressed, oppressed and exploited" for the past 10 years.

Their ire is directed at the joint PNG and Australian government track management programme, the "Kokoda Initiative Program".

They have urged both governments to review the Kokoda Initiative arrangement in consultation with them.

Their complaint stems from a claim that they are owed over US$1.5 million by PNG's government.

They also identify problems over funding from Australia.

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