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Joint Media Release
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment & Heritage
Member for Flinders
Greg Hunt MP
26 October 2005
Greg Hunt MP, Parliamentary Secretary with ministerial responsibility for Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, today announced spending of $468,000 to upgrade walking tracks and provide new visitor signage over the next year.
The bulk of the money will be spent on upgrading sections of the Uluru base walk and improved signage and includes:
"This funding will allow for a well needed upgrade to the Uluru base walk and also draw attention to sites of cultural importance by new interpretive signage," Mr Hunt said.
"The nine kilometre walk around the Rock follows the footsteps of the ancestral beings. It's one of the great walks of the world, with beautiful waterholes and a rich variety of plants and small animals and we want to make it even better."
At Kata-Tjuta, the increasingly popular Valley of the Winds walk is also getting a face-lift.
"We are hardening the pathway to the first lookout to improve visitor access and reduce erosion. Works will also include installing a small bridge and refurbishing the existing platform," Mr Hunt said.
"We get 400,000 visitors a year at Uluru making tourism a vital part of the regional economy. It's important that we continue to improve the visitor experience.
"Visitors and the tourism industry have told us they want more interpretation of what they see around them, so we're putting ore than $300,000 of this funding into natural and cultural interpretation.
"They will all be developed with the help of the park's Aboriginal traditional owners, Anangu."
Mr Hunt made the announcement after opening a new $ 45,000 shade shelter - or wiltja - at the park's Cultural Centre.
"The wiltjas, made of timber with a spinifex roof, have been designed to complement the unique central desert architecture used in the Cultural Centre, and are located throughout the park for visitor safety and comfort," Mr Hunt said.
Kristy McSweeney 0415 740 722