14 Aug 2019
Minister for Aboriginal Affairs
Qantas has lauded a new $351.7 million government funding agreement for Kakadu National Park as exactly the bold infrastructure investment the Northern Territory needs.
Andrew David, CEO of the national carrier’s domestic arm, congratulated the Australian and Northern Territory governments on the funding deal sealed today, and said the “large and bold investment in infrastructure” would boost domestic and international visitors to the region.
Jabiru is on track to become home to Australia’s premier, locally-led Aboriginal cultural visitor experience, thanks to the $351.7 million funding commitment signed by both levels of government today to guide Jabiru’s post-mining transformation.
With the Ranger Uranium Mine due to cease production in 2021, Jabiru’s Mirrar Traditional Owners envisage their ancestral lands transforming into the tourism heart of Kakadu National Park; a sustainable, eco-destination that celebrates the oldest continuous culture on earth.
The Australian Government’s $216.2 million investment over 10 years will support the establishment of a world heritage interpretive centre, along with a tourism masterplan, and road upgrades to boost year round accessibility to key sites within the Kakadu National Park. It will also support land remediation works following the closure of the mine.
The Northern Territory Government $135.5 million will support the establishment of the Bininj Resource Centre, along with upgrades to local Jabiru infrastructure, a new power station, a government services hub, upgraded health clinic and a designated education precinct.
The two levels of government are co-investing to improve mobile phone coverage across Kakadu National Park.
The Jabiru Masterplan, informed by the Mirrar vision for the town, is supported by the independent Jabiru Business Case report, which estimates that in the first year of new attractions and development projects, Kakadu visitation numbers will increase by nearly 100,000.
Additionally, the report estimates 125 ongoing jobs will be created in Jabiru as a result of the planned development projects and initiatives.
Development opportunities include an eco-recreation hub, a wellness centre, a five-star lodge with glamping, a Lake Jabiru boardwalk and a croc-proof swimming enclosure.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Selena Uibo.
“Kakadu National Park is already an iconic tourist destination. It is also a cultural asset with intrinsic and intangible value for the Mirrar traditional owners, who have had an uninterrupted connection to these lands for more than 65,000 years.
“By drawing upon the Mirrar’s knowledge of these lands, their wisdom, their heritage and their dreamings, the unspoiled natural beauty and ancient wilderness of Kakadu will only be enhanced by the sharing of this incomparable Aboriginal cultural experience.
“Unlike the CLP, who relinquished all Northern Territory Government responsibility for Jabiru, the Territory Labor Government is investing in the future of this very special part of the Territory, to improve the visitor experience for people from all over the world and to support the Mirrar people to unlock the social and economic potential of their land.”
Quote attributable to Qantas Domestic CEO, Andrew David.
“This is exactly what the Northern Territory needs – a large and bold investment in infrastructure which will help drive visitation, both domestic and international.
“This plays to the Territory’s unique strengths of natural beauty and Aboriginal culture. The Federal and Northern Territory governments should be congratulated.
“As the national carrier, we’re are proud to promote the Territory to travellers from around the world and in our own backyard, and we have no doubt this will help get more visitors to the region.”
Media contact: Kim Stephens 0417 683 144