(Original article posted June 22, 2018 1:00 PM via looppng.com, © 2018)

The Management and Board of Kokoda Track Authority have welcomed the Kokoda Track Authority Review as announced by Inter-government Relations Minister Kevin Isifu.

The review will be conducted in response to complaints and issues raised by the landowners along the Kokoda Track.

Chairman of Kokoda Track Authority James Enage said the Authority proposed to the Department of Provincial and Local Level Government in 2014 for a review to be conducted.

The call for the review is purposely to strengthen the Kokoda Track Authority’s governance and administration and importantly to improve services and bene t sharing amongst communities and landowner groups along the Kokoda Track.

Mr Enage said they are pleased the review will commence immediately as the Kokoda Track Authority itself is in dire need to be funded and resourced. Track fees are the Authority’s main source of income to sustain its operations in addition to the recurrent budget allocated to them.

In light of this, Mr Enage further pointed out that the Kokoda Track Authority has never been directly funded by the PNG government for the last 10 years

It is anticipated that the finding and recommendations from the review will improve funding for the Authority so that track fees can be diverted towards the community and economic aspirations of the community and for the Authority to fully serve its purpose.

The Kokoda Track Authority is calling on the PNG and Australia Governments to also review the Kokoda Initiative program which manages the Kokoda Track Community funds where over 186 million was committed to this program, thus undertaking this review to determine whether the funds translated into tangible development for the people.