Qantas has lauded a new $351.7 million government fundingagreement for Kakadu National Park as exactly the bold infrastructureinvestment the Northern Territory needs.
Andrew David, CEO of the national carriers domestic arm,congratulated the Australian and Northern Territory governments on the funding dealsealed today, and said the large and bold investment in infrastructure wouldboost domestic and international visitors to the region.
Jabiru is on track to become home to Australias premier,locally-led Aboriginal cultural visitor experience, thanks to the $351.7million funding commitment signed by both levels of government today to guideJabirus post-mining transformation.
With the Ranger Uranium Mine due to cease production in2021, Jabirus Mirrar Traditional Owners envisage their ancestral landstransforming into the tourism heart of Kakadu National Park; a sustainable,eco-destination that celebrates the oldest continuous culture on earth.
The Australian Governments $216.2 million investment over10 years will support the establishment of a world heritage interpretivecentre, along with a tourism masterplan, and road upgrades to boost year roundaccessibility to key sites within the Kakadu National Park. It will alsosupport land remediation works following the closure of the mine.
The Northern Territory Government $135.5 million willsupport the establishment of the Bininj Resource Centre, along with upgrades tolocal Jabiru infrastructure, a new power station, a government services hub, upgradedhealth clinic and a designated education precinct.
The two levels of government are co-investing to improvemobile phone coverage across Kakadu National Park.
The Jabiru Masterplan, informed by the Mirrar vision forthe town, is supported by the independent Jabiru Business Case report, whichestimates that in the first year of new attractions and development projects, Kakaduvisitation numbers will increase by nearly 100,000.
Additionally, the report estimates 125 ongoing jobs will becreated in Jabiru as a result of the planned development projects andinitiatives.
Development opportunities include an eco-recreation hub, awellness centre, a five-star lodge with glamping, a Lake Jabiru boardwalk and acroc-proof swimming enclosure.
As noted by 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 Mirrars 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.
Quoteattributable to Qantas Domestic CEO, Andrew David.
This is exactly what the Northern Territory needs alarge and bold investment in infrastructure which will help drive visitation,both domestic and international.
This plays to the Territorys unique strengths of naturalbeauty and Aboriginal culture. The Federal and Northern Territory governmentsshould be congratulated.
As the national carrier, were are proud to promote theTerritory to travellers from around the world and in our own backyard, and wehave no doubt this will help get more visitors to the region.