Kakadu tourism investment must be fast-tracked to bring tourists back to this Top End jewel and support jobs in the Northern Territory.
The Morrison Government’s release of a draft tourism master plan for Kakadu comes 648 days after the plan was first announced.
It’s about time!
Kakadu is an Australian icon – with breathtaking landscapes, rich ecosystems, abundant wildlife and, at its heart, a connection to indigenous culture and country.
At its peak Kakadu attracted around 300,000 visitors a year.
But after years of underinvestment by the Liberal-National Federal Government, visitation has since dropped to only 185,000 a year.
Since Scott Morrison and Michael McCormack announced up to $216 million for Kakadu upgrades in January 2019:
- The Australian National Audit Office release a scathing report criticising the Government’s handling of its national parks, including Kakadu;
- Tourism operators have been pleading for answers from the Government about when they will be able to access key sites;
- And talks between Parks Australia and Traditional Owners broke down.
Today, the NT tourism industry is understandably pushing back against being given two weeks to provide feedback on a plan the Government took more than 92 weeks to deliver.
Yesterday’s announcement is an important step but is sadly yet another clear example of a Government focused only on announcements and headlines but failing when it comes to delivery and deadlines.
With the draft plan complete, the Morrison Government must commit to a clear timeline for delivering the funding it promised and the upgrades that will return Kakadu to the top of tourists’ must-visit lists.
THURSDAY, 22 OCTOBER 2020
SENATOR DON FARRELL
SHADOW SPECIAL MINISTER OF STATE
SHADOW MINISTER FOR SPORT
SHADOW MINISTER FOR TOURISM
SHADOW MINISTER ASSISTING THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SENATOR FOR SOUTH AUSTRALIA
WARREN SNOWDON MP
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR NORTHERN AUSTRALIA
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR EXTERNAL TERRITORIES
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR INDIGNEOUS AUSTRALIANS
MEMBER FOR LINGIARI
SENATOR MALARNDIRRI MCCARTHY
DEPUTY WHIP IN THE SENATE
CHAIR OF LABOR'S FIRST NATIONS CAUCUS COMMITTEE
SENATOR FOR THE NORTHERN TERRITORY
LUKE GOSLING MP
MEMBER FOR SOLOMON