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Exciting New Tourism Initiative and Destination in Kakadu National Park

5 March 2004

The Director of National Parks, Mr Peter Cochrane, today welcomed the announcement of a new joint tourism venture between some Kakadu traditional owners and AAT Kings/Aussie Adventure Holidays. The new safari camp and touring program at Hawk Dreaming will provide visitor accommodation for the first time in the untouched northern wetlands of Kakadu.

"This is an outstanding example of a new partnership approach that promotes tourism and local industry, while providing tangible benefits to the custodians of Kakadu," Mr Cochrane said. It also is opening up a new area of the park to visitors.

"I congratulate all of the parties involved in negotiating this exciting new agreement."

"In particular I would like to congratulate the Bunitj people and AAT Kings/Aussie Adventure Holidays for working together to develop a new tourism activity in Kakadu that will provide new experiences for park visitors as well as business and employment opportunities for the Bunitj Clan."

Kakadu National Park is jointly managed by Parks Australia, whose charter is the conservation and public use and enjoyment of Commonwealth parks and reserves. Kakadu is largely Aboriginal land, with many traditional owners living in the park. One of our key management objectives in this joint managed national park is increasing the involvement of traditional owners in tourism.

"Park staff and the Kakadu Board of Management have been working to facilitate these kind of joint ventures to develop new tourism opportunities, improve visitor satisfaction and support Indigenous and regional economic development," Mr Cochrane said.

"This has involved park staff helping make connections between the parks' traditional owners and the tourism industry, supporting traditional owners attending tourism industry forums, encouraging the participation of traditional owners in Kakadu's tourism consultative meetings and providing administrative and technical support to facilitate environmental assessment and approvals."

Contact: Mr Peter Cochrane 0419 125 137