10 Aug 2006

Concerns that mining could go ahead on the historic Kokoda Track in PNG

6:45 pm on 10 August 2006

Australia may ask Papua New Guinea to intervene in exploratory mining which some fear could threaten the heritage value of the iconic Kokoda Track.

The 96 kilometre trail in the remote highlands of PNG was the scene of one of Australia's most famous campaigns against the Japanese during World War II.

Each year thousands of Australians walk the track where an earlier generation fought off the Japanese who were trying to capture Port Moresby, and make inroads into northern Australia.

The Australian Labour party wants the government to make sure the route is not damaged by the Australian mining company, Frontier Resources, which bought the rights to the gold and copper deposits there.

The company has assured the Veterans' Affairs Department that its exploration work won't affect the Kokoda Track.

The Australian High Commission in Port Moresby is looking into the details of the exploration licence.