Albanese Labor Government steps up with funding certainty for Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway

The Hon Matt Thistlethwaite MP
Assistant Minister for Defence
Assistant Minister for Veterans' Affairs
Assistant Minister for the Republic

Sally Sitou MP
Federal Member for Reid

The Albanese Labor Government is delivering funding certainty for the Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway in Sydney.

The commemorative site will receive a further $409,000 in funding over four years to ensure it continues operating for future generations to pay their respects.

The commitment to the Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway builds on existing funding to help deliver up to $186,000 per year for the next four years.

Assistant Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Matt Thistlethwaite said the Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway honours Australian service personnel who fought in the Second World War.

“In 2022 we recognise the 80th anniversary of one of the hardest fought and most critical actions of the Second World War - the Kokoda campaign,” Minister Thistlethwaite said.

“The four-month battle along the Kokoda Track turned back the Japanese land advance on Port Moresby, helping to turn the tide of the war.”

The fighting along the Track was some of the most desperate and vicious encountered by Australians troops in the Second World War, with approximately 625 Australians killed and 1,600 wounded. Casualties because of sickness exceeded 4,000 due to the brutal conditions.

“The Albanese Labor Government is committed to upholding the legacy of this vital campaign,” Minister Thistlethwaite said.

The funding of $409,000 included in the 2022-23 October Budget will contribute to the ongoing operations and maintenance costs, including staffing, gardening, repairs and general maintenance at the walkway for four years.

“Without this key funding certainty, the Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway may be unable to continue to deliver services and events for the community at the same level,” Minister Thistlethwaite said.

Federal Member for Reid Sally Sitou said she is proud to help deliver funding certainty for the Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway in Concord West.

“The sacrifices made by Australian soldiers in the Kokoda Track campaign 80 years ago should never be forgotten, they embodied the very best of the Australian spirit and we are all indebted to them,” Federal Member for Reid Sally Sitou said. 

“I’m proud to be supporting the Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway whose work keeps the memories of those soldiers alive.”

On the 80th anniversary of the fighting on the Kokoda Track, in memory of those who served, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs has also launched a new website – the Papua New Guinea (PNG) Virtual Remembrance Trails.

Minister Thistlethwaite said the new resource uses a ‘trail-like’ approach of step-by-step discovery to tell the story of the Second World War in PNG.

“The seven trails on this website follow the course of the campaign in Papua New Guinea, rich with written and audio-visual content, including pins on the map to track every step,” Minister Thistlethwaite said.

“One way to never forget the sacrifices of our veterans is to find new ways to remember, and this website is a multi-layered journey of exploration.”

“I encourage everyone to discover the online trails and to pause and reflect on the courage and sacrifice of the Australians and their Papua New Guinean comrades as they fought to defend against invasion along the Kokoda Track,” Minister Thistlethwaite said.

The Papua New Guinea Virtual Remembrance Trails website is available at: www.pngremembrancetrail.gov.au

 

Media contacts

Ben Leeson (Assistant Minister Thistlethwaite’s Office): +61 404 648 275
DVA Media: media.team@dva.gov.au

Authorised by The Hon Matt Thistlethwaite MP.

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