Northern Territory Government Newsroom

Tiwi Islands’ tourism businesses supported with NT Government grants

Patakijiyali Museum will be enhanced with a new sports hall of fame, a new footbridge will be built from a Tiwi ferry stop to an arts centre, and flushing toilets will be installed at a remote fishing lodge as a result of Northern Territory Government tourism infrastructure grants.

Chief Minister and Tourism Minister Adam Giles said $230,500 was being provided for the three Tiwi Islands' projects under the Country Liberal Government's $4.75 million Tourism Infrastructure Development Fund.

"The Tiwi Islands are known as the 'islands of smiles' and the locals are famous for their traditional lifestyle, art and love of AFL," he said.

"One of the most popular tourist attractions is the Patakijiyali Museum on Bathurst Island, where visitors can learn about the culture and history of the Tiwi Islands.

"To increase the overall visitor experience, the museum will be expanded to include a new sports hall of fame and an information display about the Catholic Sisters that have lived on the islands.

"While the Federal Government has provided a $126,000 grant from the Aboriginal Benefits Account to assist with construction of the new sports gallery at the museum, the Northern Territory Government will provide a $70,000 tourism grant for the museum's fit out.

"The $70,000 Tourism Infrastructure Development Fund grant will go towards the electrical work, lighting, an interactive display, a feature wall and glass cabinets.

"The Tiwi have a rich sporting history, with Hawthorn player Cyril Rioli recently becoming the third member of his family to win the Norm Smith Medal in the AFL grand final, so it is timely to expand the museum to acknowledge past and present sporting heroes.

"In addition to the tourism grant, the Northern Territory Government will also provide $11,487 under the Regional Economic Development Fund to contribute to the supply and installation of six air conditioners in the original section of the museum."

Member for Arafura Francis Kurrupuwu said Tiwi Island Adventures would receive a $136,000 tourism grant to install flushing toilets at the Bathurst Island Lodge.

"Tiwi Adventures provides guided fishing packages and cultural tours, operating from three remote lodges throughout the Tiwi Islands," he said.

"With this grant, Tiwi Adventures will be able to install flushing toilets with septic tanks to bring Bathurst Lodge up to the same standard as their other fishing lodges."

Mr Kurrupuwu said a third tourism grant of $24,500 would be provided to Mantiyupwi Pty Ltd to construct a 15 metre footbridge through the mangroves to enable tourists arriving on the Sealink ferry to walk from the foreshore direct to Tiwi Design.

"The footbridge will ensure tourists have a shorter and more picturesque route to the arts centre Tiwi Design," he said.

While on the island, Mr Giles also inspected the new 'Tiwi Trail' street signs in Wurrumiyanga, which are making it easier for tourists to find their way around town and make the most of their visit.

"Tourists visiting Wurrimiyanga can now easily make their way around the community and visit all of the great cultural attractions," he said.

Mr Giles said a thriving tourism industry would help to develop our regions, boost local businesses, create more jobs and grow the Territory economy.

"The Northern Territory Government is committed to expanding the range of tourism experiences on offer in the Territory, particularly in our regional and remote areas, so we can create more jobs and drive economic development in these communities," he said.

"This is the largest Government tourism grant program in the Territory's history. It is a significant boost for the NT tourism industry that will help attract more visitors here and encourage them to stay longer.

"It's all part of the Country Liberals Government's plan to drive the development of North Australia and build a $2.2 billion visitor economy by 2020."

Media Contact: Scott Whitby 0438 531 583