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Greg Hunt MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Federal Member for Flinders
Hon Stephanie Jack MLA
Norfolk Island Minister for the Environment
9 June 2005
Norfolk Island has enormous untapped potential as an ecotourism destination, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Greg Hunt MP, and the Norfolk Island Minister for the Environment, the Hon Stephanie Jack MLA, said today.
At a meeting on Thursday 9 June, Mr Hunt and Mrs Jack discussed how the two governments could work together to promote Norfolk Island's unique landscapes and wildlife.
"You have everything here to tap into the growing ecotourism market," Mr Hunt said. "Beautiful rainforest and reef, seabird colonies, unique flora and fauna, diving, great walks and cycling, and a terrific National Park and Botanic Gardens."
Mrs Jack said the Island needed to expand its visitor base.
"Tourism is Norfolk's major source of revenue and is currently reliant on the package tour market. The Norfolk Island Government can see great dividends for the economy in looking at new low impact environmental experiences for independent travellers."
Mr Hunt said the Norfolk Island National Park was a key tourist attraction, and reaffirmed the Australian Government's commitment of more than $1 million a year to maintain and restore its unique flora and fauna, and to maintain quality visitor infrastructure.
"I'm really proud of the way the Park has brought back the Green Parrot from the edge of extinction and rehabilitated the rainforest. The $3 million reconstruction of the Mount Pitt Road has been an excellent investment in tourism infrastructure.
"I have asked the Park Manager to work closely with the Norfolk Island Government and the tourism industry to see what more can be done."It's possible that further funding might be available under the Australian Tourism Development program or the Tourism and Conservation Partnerships program, and I'd encourage Norfolk Islanders to think of ways they can participate in these schemes," Mr Hunt said.
Fiona Murphy (Mr Hunt's office) 0423 577 045
Katrina Flannery (Norfolk) 0011 6723 22152