New funds to fight tourist drop
The Federal Government has put up $233 million for tourism and infrastructure projects across five major natural attractions.
Environment Minister Sussan Ley announced the money over the weekend, saying it would help the struggling tourism sector recover from the “economic challenges” of COVID-19.
The money is split across the NT's Uluru-Kata Tjuta and Kakadu national parks, Booderee National Park on the NSW South Coast, Christmas Island and Canberra's Australian National Botanic Gardens.
The funding is in addition to $216 million the Commonwealth has pledged for Kakadu.
“It is the biggest single investment in our Commonwealth national parks,” she said.
“It is about lifting the infrastructure, making these iconic destinations truly as good as they possibly can be as we come out of COVID.”
New infrastructure and upgrades include:
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park: Major upgrades to the cultural centre, renewal of walking tracks (including the Uluru Base Walk) and viewing platforms, upgrades to shelters and water stations at visitor sites, as well as $51 million in infrastructure upgrades for the Muṯitjulu community.
Kakadu National Park: Upgrades to campgrounds including improved fresh water storage, improvements to the Warradjan Aboriginal Cultural Centre, road repairs, improved staff housing, workshop and utility buildings, improved fuel storage and supply facilities.
Booderee National Park: A new visitor centre to welcome visitors and showcase Aboriginal culture, upgrades to campground amenities, roads and car parks, the Murrays Beach Boardwalk and Boat Ramp, walking tracks and viewing platforms.
Christmas Island National Park: New viewing platform at the Margaret Knoll Lookout, a popular bird watching destination which overlooks the Indian Ocean