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19 March 2019

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Chips Mackellar

Charlie, who are the Australian environment officials who have assumed control of the Kokoda trekking industry?

If we know who they are, maybe we can impress upon them that it is not the environment, but the wartime history of the Kokoda campaign which is the primary reason why people walk the Trail, and why we should maintain the Trail in trekable condition.

If you are not comfortable naming these people here, perhaps you could email me this information to
malcolmmackellar@aapt.net.au

Rashmii Bell

Class 4 Standards sound all good in theory but in my opinion, in application to the Trail, the theory is very much detached from reality.

Maybe a survey of past trekkers' experience would prove useful.

Even when trekking with a group of 30+, the ideal of "frequent opportunities for solitude with few encounters with others" is being achieved - with all your mental efforts focused.

You're nowhere else but in your mind trying to climb up to Imita Ridge, Ioribaiwa village and the grind up to the Maguli Range.

A full day out at Lake Myola is enough to make you feel that you are "away" from the Trail, PNG...this world even.

A 0.5 metre wide trail is just unrealistic and impractical, especially if you're with a personal carrier and you're communicating with them, trying to develop rapport with them, understand their culture, their way of life - you know, the kinds of things you might like to learn about when you've paid money to travel to another country for an experience.

That and also heavily relying on carriers for your safety during the safety-measures free, hazardous trek.

"Bridges are not to be provided except for exceptional environmental purposes" and "toilets of minimal design" - well, achieving these targets are on track with little effort or amendments required. ( See 'Trail of Woe' series here on the blog).

If Class 4 Standards are being pursued for final legislation for world heritage listing, then I would expect too that provisions will included detailing how the Papua New Guinean men who've been employed (and receive as their main income) in the trek tourism industry will be supported with transitioning into alternate employment options and human resource development and training.

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