16 January 2019 – Kakadu National Park is set to receive a funding boost, with the Federal Government announcing an investment of up to $216 million. The funding aims to drive tourism in the area, creating much needed jobs and contributing to a stronger economy for the Northern Territory.
The investment plan includes $70 million to seal and upgrade roads and up to $111 million to improve tourism infrastructure.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said, “As a government we are committed to our stewardship responsibilities to this unique national treasure and supporting the thousands of Australians whose livelihoods and communities depend on it.”
“Better services and infrastructure for Kakadu will mean more visitors and that means more jobs not just for Jabiru, but for the whole Territory,” the Prime Minister said.
The National Park welcomes more than 200,000 visitors annually but has failed to see growth in recent years.
The chair of Kakadu Tourism, Rick Allert, said, “At present, too many of the ‘icons’ are inaccessible for much of the year, which has seriously inhibited growing tourism.”
“Our Cooinda and Jabiru properties are fully indigenous owned and have provided the lifeblood of Kakadu’s tourism industry for many decades,” Allert said.
The investment will provide infrastructure and access to attractions to boost tourism in Kakadu, supporting more indigenous business and employment.
The investment builds on the Government’s record support for the NT in the last year, including announcements of $260 million GST top-up payment for essential services like health and education, $550 million for Indigenous housing and $100 million for the Darwin City Deal.