BY PAUL ASHENDEN
But the plan has come under fire from other Kokoda Track experts, who are concerned major monuments or other man-made developments would ruin the trail's ambience and stress the natural environment.
Network Kokoda founding chairman Mr Lynn hopes to establish a master plan for future development along the track, which attracts thousands of Australians each year.
He has raised $70,000 to engage Sydney-based designer Michael Pender to complete a survey of the track.
Mr Pender used a helicopter to visit the track last month and pegged out potential sites for memorials.
His ideas include a cultural interpretive centre at the start of the track to honour the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels, who helped Australian soldiers during the war, and a monument at Brigade Hill, where Australian soldiers made a major stand against advancing Japanese forces during WWII.
"My belief has always been you need a master plan for the trail and any master plan needs to be sensitive to the environment and culture and properly respect the wartime history," Mr Lynn said. "But we do need to preserve the story of the Kokoda campaign."
Mr Lynn believes next year's 70th anniversary of the Kokoda campaign would be the ideal time for development and he will submit any plans to organisations such as the RSL and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The governments of Papua New Guinea and Australia unveiled a $700,000 memorial, designed by Mr Pender, at Isurava in 2002 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the campaign.
Bill James, author of Field Guide To The Kokoda Track, believes that one major memorial is enough to commemorate more than 2000 soldiers who died and thousands more who returned from fighting the Japanese from July 1942 to January 1943.
Mr James said the consensus at a forum of Kokoda Track authorities this year was that there was no need for any more major memorials and the Track should remain a wilderness experience.
"I am not keen to see more memorials on the track," Mr James said. "Interactive displays should be confined to places like the museum at Port Moresby. It is already under great environmental stress."
Photo: A helicopter circles before landing on Brigade Hill on the Kokoda Track which stretches across the highlands of Papua New Guinea [Paul Ashenden]
Source: The Adelaide Advertiser, 28 September