3 Aug 2009

Calls for more regulation on PNG's Kokoda Track

1:28 pm on 3 August 2009

There are calls for more regulation on Papua New Guinea's famous Kokoda Track to prevent local porters being forced to carry dangerously heavy loads.

Locals have told track authorities some porters are treated like camels, with loads of up to 50 kilogrammes as they help overseas trekkers on the 96-kilometre track.

The AAP correspondent in Port Moresby, Ilya Gridneff, says the track was the scene of a famous Pacific War battle and it's now a pilgrimage site for thousands of Australian trekkers each year.

"There is a lot of money to be made and I think there are some operators that do cut corners to make a few extra bucks but I think those that are leading the industry as well are very aware of the brand they create and the brand they want to protect so when it comes to the way they go about business I think they will be doing everything to ensure nothing jeopardises their standing."

Ilya Gridneff says the Kokoda Track Authority is now promoting a Code of conduct to restrict porter loads to 20 kilogrammes.