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Joint Media Release
Greg Hunt MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Federal Member for Flinders
&
Ms Clare Martin
Chief Minister for the Northern Territory
&
Warren Entsch MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources

23 February 2005

Launch of Kakadu tourism vision


The Kakadu Board of Management supported by the Australian and Northern Territory Governments today launched their new strategic vision for tourism in Kakadu National Park.

The document - A Shared Vision for Tourism in Kakadu National Park - is an historic step in repositioning Kakadu as an international icon, with emphasis on Aboriginal culture and the park's World Heritage values as a core part of the visitor experience.

"This important document sets out the Board of Management 's vision of how to protect and build on Kakadu's priceless World Heritage values, while creating new and enriching experiences for visitors," Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Greg Hunt, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources, Warren Entsch and the Chief Minister for the Northern Territory, Clare Martin said.

" This vision is about respecting our culture, helping visitors understand and appreciate the beauty of our traditional lands and proudly sharing our country with park visitors," the Chair of the Kakadu Board of Management, Jonathon Nadji, said.

"We look forward to working more closely with the tourism industry to create new job opportunities for our people, especially young people looking for satisfying work on their own country.

"We will be looking to Governments to help traditional owners gain business skills and access venture capital so that those of us who want to be part of a new tourism industry are able to participate effectively.

"We will now be considering how the new Kakadu Plan of Management will advance these initiatives."

Mr Hunt said he was proud of the Board's vision and gave it his full support.

"It provides a pathway towards reaching a key goal – to foster the economic development of indigenous communities. The fantastic landscapes and wildlife, some of the oldest artwork in the world and especially the continuing living culture of the Aboriginal traditional owners and their deep spiritual affiliation to the Kakadu landscape are what make this place special. We see Kakadu becoming an international role model for ‘ Caring for country' and sustainable tourism," Greg Hunt said.

Mr Entsch said the Board should be congratulated for developing this vision for tourism in Kakadu.

"It acknowledges the important role tourism can play both in building new opportunities for jobs and tourism investment for the future, and for sharing and educating visitors about indigenous heritage and Kakadu itself. At the same time it acknowledges tourism should not be allowed to run rampant to the detriment of both country and community. These are some of the key objectives of the Federal Government's Tourism White Paper," Warren Entsch said.

"This vision provides a framework for new business opportunities and investment security for the tourism industry, as well as enhanced economic development opportunities for the park's traditional owners. It will play a vital role in our future marketing and promotion, and reaffirms Kakadu as a major contributor to the Territory economy," Clare Martin said.

The Shared Vision for Tourism was developed in consultation with traditional owners and the tourism industry by the former head of the Australian Tourism Commission and the man who masterminded the Sydney Olympics, John Morse AM.

Among the ideas the Board will consider are an enhanced tourism focus within the park management; the potential for new experiences such as night wildlife tours, bush tucker tours, eco camps and walking tracks; new low impact accommodation, both at the luxury and budget ends of the market; exploration of Kakadu's unique ‘six seasons'; and the potential for Aboriginal storytelling to give visitors a new perspective of country.

"This is the beginning of a new partnership between the traditional owners, the Australian and Northern Territory Governments and the tourism industry," the Parliamentary Secretaries and the Chief Minister said.

"We will now look at how governments can support traditional owners and the tourism industry in delivering a new, re-invigorated, tourism future for Kakadu."

For more information visit the Kakadu National Park web site at: www.deh.gov.au/parks/publications/kakadu/tourism-vision

Media enquiries:
Fiona Murphy (Mr Hunt's office) 0423 577 045
Craig Rowston (Ms Martin's office) 0401 119777
Greg Doolan (Mr Entsch's office) 0418 213 243

Commonwealth of Australia