|Pacific Media Watch|
Kokoda trail 'worth more than gold'
Title -- 5314 PNG: Kokoda trail 'worth more than gold'
Date -- 21 February 2008
Byline -- None
Origin -- Pacific Media Watch
Source -- The National (via email@example.com) 21/02/08
Copyright - TN
Status -- Unabridged
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KOKODA TRACK WORTH MORE THAN GOLD: PARKOP
By Harlyne Joku
PORT MORESBY (FijiVillage.com/Pacific Media Watch): Papua New Guinea's National Capital District Governor, Powes Parkop, yesterday described the Kokoda Track as priceless and worth more than a gold mine.
Parkop said the Kokoda Track area must be placed on the World Heritage List.
He explained that the famous track being placed on the World Heritage List would make it recognised internationally for what it is worth priceless and a legacy that is worth much more than a gold mine.
Certain things in this world are priceless. You cannot put a value on them. You cannot simply trade them for money. The Kokoda Track is significant for both Australia and PNG. It is worth much more than a gold mine Parkop said.
He said he directly opposed the proposed mining activities at Kodu Hill and Mount Bini in the Koiari area of Central province claiming it would definitely affect the renowned Kokoda Track.
There are choices that we have to make in relation to development. The Kokoda Track has a huge tourism potential, he said.
But former Mining Minister Sam Akotai urged Parkop to take note of the locals needs.
Akoitai said both the PNG and Australia government must treat the proposed mining issue with openness.
We have to look at how best we can protect the track at the same time how we can help the local people with their development needs and benefits, he said.
Akoitai said ordinary Australians have access to efficient services and cannot deny the same to ordinary rural Papua New Guineans by holding back development.
But he added that activities at this stage were only at the exploration stage.
Parkop said that if the issue was brought before cabinet, he would have no power to oppose it but if it was addressed in Parliament, he would definitely oppose it.
Both Parkop and Akoitai made the comments on the FM100 talk back show yesterday morning.
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