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24 February 2016

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With respect Kevin, I appreciate the fact that you have grown up in PNG which surprises me when you make a statement like 'Charlie you are all over the shop'.

His 30 or so years walking the Kokoda integrating with the villagers, setting up the Kokoda Foundation, and his very personal relationship with all of the villagers along the Kokoda track and beyond certainly gives him the right to make a judgement on what he believes is the best way forward for the people of PNG.

Sometimes it is people like yourself who lose their way and get a bit all over the shop.

I had to make this comment as I am Charlie's brother and I know how how passionate and loving he is with the people of PNG. So please do not stuff it up for them.

Perhaps we can distil this down to simply respecting the traditional values and culture of the PNG tribes without subtly trying to introduce change that will amount to no more that a total waste of money. Reversion has being going on for generations, as change remains a thin veneer over strong cultural and spiritual beliefs. With regard to Aust Government policy, Kevin Byrne, how about auditing the funds you are supplying and finding out exactly whose pockets benefit? Well done Charlie.

So Charlie my fiend what is your point in all of this? I have known you for a long time now. Respectfully Mate you are all over the shop in this debate. Are you suggesting that PNG be re populated with Kiaps? Are you suggesting that HC staff go live in villages? Are you suggesting that Aust recolonise PNG along the lines when I grew up there as a kid. Sorry Mate but whilst I agree that we might have made some mistakes in our engagement efforts over the past 80 odd years I am pretty proud of our efforts. Let's cut to the chase here....where is the Joint Venture between any of the Aussie Kokoda Track operators and a PNG based Kokoda Track operator? All I hear is bleat, bleat from track operators who seem to find it convenient to vent their spleen on the Aussie HC staff and Aust Govt Policy. Many of us are getting decidedly sick and tired of this rhetoric......

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