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Long-serving taxman John Lohberger dies

John Lohberger OBE wrote many of Papua New Guinea's taxation laws in his 18 years serving as taxation commissioner in the Internal Revenue Commission



NOOSA – Papua New Guinea’s former long-serving taxation commissioner, and spare time rally car enthusiast, John Lohberger, died in February aged 84 after a short illness.

John Wolfgang Lohberger OBE (1937-2022) spent his youth in Hobart before beginning his career with the Australian Tax Office in Victoria, where he became the youngest person to be appointed as a full taxation assessor.

In 1960, he was seconded to the Administration of the then Territory of PNG and there he stayed for the length of his career, rising through the ranks, writing many of the taxation laws and for 18 years serving as the respected taxation commissioner in the Internal Revenue Commission.

While he was in Port Moresby, the University of PNG was established and John was amongst its earliest economics students, graduating as a Bachelor of Economics in 1972.

In recognition of outstanding public service in Papua New Guinea he was awarded the Order of the British Empire in 1986.

After 32 years with the PNG government, he joined Deloitte PNG as a tax partner in 1992 and in 1996 established himself as a tax adviser in his own company, JWL Consulting Ltd.

In 2014, in his mid-seventies, he answered the call to serve on the important PNG tax review committee.

Papuan Safari 1969
One of the vehicles in the 1969 Papuan Safari. Lohberger was a five time PNG champion rally driver

In his private life, John was a five times PNG rally champion and a popular long-serving treasurer and committee member of the Royal Papua Yacht Club, for which he was instrumental in the financial planning for the new clubhouse and marina.

After leaving PNG, John and his wife Carlene lived on a property near the small township of Tarzali, 70 km west of Innisfail in north Queensland.

John is survived by Carlene, twin brother Ernest, sister Erika and children Chris and Liz as well as four grandchildren and one great-grandchild.


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Mike Rohan

RIP John, I fondly remember competing in various car rallies in and out of Port Moresby alongside John and Ernie, including the tough Papuan Safaris staged by the SPMSC. Those two were famously good at taking short cuts.

Angela Gizoria

Tenkyu tru wantok! Yu em kumul ya.
God, rest his soul in peace. Amen.

Ed Brumby

Back in the day, I wrote basketball articles for the Post-Courier - 2-3 times a week, for the princely sum of 3c per published line.

I failed to declare this income in my annual tax returns, thinking foolishly that I would get away with it.

Not so ....

John's' wife, Carlene was a colleague of mine at the Education Department's Publishing and Broadcasts Branch.

I dare say an innocent conversation with her husband led to me being served with a please explain ... and an invoice for unpaid taxes.

Nevertheless, John continued to deal with me as he always had - like a friend

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