12 August 2019
After years of campaigning, Kakadu will receive a much needed investment to build visitor numbers to the World Heritage National Park – the NT’s tourism anchor attraction.
Opposition Leader Gary Higgins said Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley confirmed 70 per cent of the investment in Kakadu is scheduled to be delivered over the next four years.
"I have been campaigning for new investment for years so this is very positive advice from a Minister in a Federal Government who understands the importance of tourism in the Top End. Kakadu has seen falling tourism numbers since its boom in the 1990s where it saw well over 300,000 visitors but now welcomes less than 200,000 with only 20,000 coming from overseas," he said.
"The rapid injection of funding from the Federal Government’s commitment of $216 million will be in the first four years of the 10-year program.
"That early investment is $151 million.
"The Northern Territory relies heavily on tourism for jobs and a prosperous economy. Of all the states and territories within Australia, it is the Northern Territory that is most reliant on tourism to drive jobs and economic development."
Mr Higgins said out dated amenities and access during the Wet were some of the issues impacting tourism numbers, but with tenders for the Tourism Master Plan and Roads Strategy nearing completion, a revitalised tourism anchor attraction was closer than ever.
"I have put the case to relevant Ministers, encouraging them to open up access to more of the 280 Aboriginal art sites as well as building all weather access to Jim Jim Falls and Twin Falls," he said.
"We have faith in the Morrison Coalition Government that they will deliver a revitalised World Heritage tourism icon that tourists from all over the world will want to visit."
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