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Greg Hunt MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
14 December 2005
Booderee National Park celebrates its 10th anniversary of joint management between the local Aboriginal community and the Australian Government, Greg Hunt MP, Parliamentary Secretary with ministerial responsibility for Booderee announced today.
"It's exactly a decade since the then Jervis Bay National Park was given to the Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community and leased back to the Australian Government's Director of National Parks to be managed jointly as a national park," Mr Hunt said.
"Over that time, the Government and the Community have worked hard together to see Booderee become increasingly popular as a major NSW tourist destination, and a showcase of natural beauty and diversity."
Booderee National Park includes Australia's only Botanic Gardens on Aboriginal land.
"Joint management has had significant social and economic benefits for the Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community whilst protecting and presenting the park's natural and cultural environment for all Australians," Mr Hunt said.
Similar arrangements exist for the World Heritage listed Kakadu and Uluru- Kata Tjuta National Parks in the Northern Territory.
"Since the joint management celebration in December 1995, the park's Board, with a majority of Aboriginal representatives, has produced a first class management plan which is well on its way to being implemented," Mr Hunt said.
"The Community has created its own business enterprise which directly employs around 30 Community members and undertakes works of around $1million annually, mostly within the park.
"Almost half the park staff are Aboriginal Community members, and this ratio is expected to increase. The Community and park enjoy a close and fruitful relationship.
"Visitation to Booderee has continued to rise, and is currently estimated at 500,000 visitors a year. This has substantial benefits for the regional economy.
"Booderee is a place where visitors not only experience the stunningly beautiful natural coastal scenery - but as the only Aboriginal owned and jointly managed national park on the east coast of Australia, they may also gain an appreciation of Aboriginal Australia."
Martin Fortescue (Booderee National Park) 02 4442 2207
Margot Marshall (Department of the Environment and Heritage) 02 6274 2068