Audit investigation into PNG's Kokoda Track Authority

10:53 am on 26 November 2018

The new head of Papua New Guinea's Kokoda Track Authority says he has directed his team to investigate claims landowners on the track are not being paid.

Landowners are supposed to receive 25 percent of the trek permit fees from tour companies using the track.

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Photo: Adventure Kokoda / Charlie Lynn / Facebook

The authority is mandated to share funds among individuals and communities who own parts of the track accessed by tourists.

However, Julius Wagirai, who was appointed chief executive in early November, said the authority had no accurate social mapping and therefore no clear landowner data.

There was also no clear audit on what funds had and had not been paid, Mr Wagirai said.

"I have directed my officer to actually do an investigation into that. Dating back two or three years down because there are some landowners that are claiming that, yes they have not been paid," he said.

"I want a thorough investigation by my accounts staff on what's outstanding and what has been paid, and I will not comment further on that until I have established that."

The authority website shows landowners received $US70,000 in track permit fees in 2009. The track has grown considerably in popularity since then.

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