The Hon Dr David Kemp, MP
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Joint Media Release
Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp
Australian Government Minister for Small Business and Tourism
Mr Joe Hockey
Chief Minister for the Northern Territory
Ms Clare Martin
19 May 2004
The Australian and Northern Territory Governments have appointed John Morse AM, the tourism expert who masterminded the global tourism strategy for the Sydney 2000 Olympics, to develop a new tourism vision for Kakadu National Park.
"John Morse will work closely with traditional Aboriginal owners and the tourism industry to develop a shared tourism vision for Kakadu," the Minister for the Environment and Heritage Dr David Kemp, the Minister for Small Business and Tourism, Joe Hockey, and the Chief Minister of the Northern Territory, Clare Martin, said today.
"We see this exciting project repositioning Kakadu as an international icon and becoming the model for Welcome to country initiatives around Australia."
John Morse AM is the former Managing Director of the Australian Tourist Commission and has a world-wide reputation for innovative tourism marketing. In his 20 years with the Commission, he spearheaded Australia's international tourism strategies with posts in the UK, Europe and Asia and was responsible for developing the hugely successful $100 million Brand Australia advertising campaign. He is Chairman of Tourism Victoria, a Board Member of Voyages Hotels and Resorts, a member of the Indigenous Tourism Leadership Group, Chairman of the Mutijulu Foundation in Uluru, Patron of the Aboriginal Tourism Marketing Association of Victoria and co-chair of the advisory board of Australia's first Indigenous Tourism Degree at Southern Cross University. He will work with a small taskforce from the Australian company Global Tourism and Leisure, headed by another well-known tourism identity John King.
"This is a fantastic opportunity to build on the exceptional natural and cultural features that make Kakadu National Park a unique World Heritage destination," John Morse said.
"I'm delighted to advise on a new strategic direction, based on a vision shared alike by Aboriginal traditional owners and the tourism industry."
"Traditional owners want to share our understanding of this special place — our art, the plants and animals and our stories which go back thousands of years," the Chairman of the Kakadu Board of Management, Jonathon Nadji said.
"This shared vision offers us the opportunity to keep our culture alive and to create new job opportunities for our children."
Dr Kemp said the Governments wanted John Morse to develop a vision which captures the imagination of tourists: the promise of a safe and unforgettable experience available nowhere else in the world.
"Kakadu offers a warm welcome to a country that has been cared for by traditional Aboriginal owners for tens of thousands of years. The country has long supported their rich culture, which they want to share with visitors. Kakadu is one of the largest national parks in the world, with fabulous landscapes, an outstanding array of plants and animals, and a renowned ranger and conservation program. It has enormous potential to become an international model for sustainable tourism, with new job opportunities for future generations of traditional owners," Dr Kemp said.
"What we are looking for is a clear statement of how tourism can contribute to Kakadu's world famous cultural and natural attributes — and how the tourism industry can benefit," Clare Martin said.
"We want a framework which helps Aboriginal traditional owners build a sustainable tourism industry — one that helps them care for country and creates opportunities for their children. The framework will give the tourism industry a long-term strategic direction so that they can plan and invest with confidence. It will play a vital role in their future marketing and promotion, and pay dividends to the Territory economy."
The Australian Minister for Small Business and Tourism Joe Hockey welcomed the Kakadu vision project.
"This project is precisely the sort of new thinking the Government hoped for in the Tourism White Paper. This initiative has the potential to balance the interests of tourism, indigenous heritage and conservation. I look forward to a new, re-invigorated, tourism future for Kakadu built on the celebration of the tremendous World Heritage values of the park," Mr Hockey said."The work is being given a very high priority by all involved," the Ministers said. "We are looking for delivery in August so that we can set about implementing its strategic direction."