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Joint Media release
Greg Hunt MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Federal Member for Flinders
Senator Nigel Scullion
Senator for the Northern Territory

3 May 2006

$5.45 million for new Uluru sunrise viewing area

Greg Hunt MP, Parliamentary Secretary with ministerial responsibility for Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, and Senator Nigel Scullion, Senator for the Northern Territory, today announced an immediate funding of $5.45 million to begin work on a new sunrise viewing area for Uluru.

The new sunrise area will be located south of the current site. It will include new road access, a car and bus park, and a viewing platform which will allow visitors to see the sun rise over both Uluru and Kata-Tjuta.

"Uluru is arguably Australia's most recognized icon, and a major drawcard for international tourists," Mr Hunt said.

"More than 400,000 visitors come to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park every year, contributing an estimated $400 million to the Australian economy.

"We expect double those numbers in ten years time. Nearly every visitor will want the unforgettable experience of seeing the sun rise over the rock - and the current sunrise area simply won't cope.

"This funding means that work can start immediately on a new world class facility befitting this fantastic World Heritage Area. For tourists, the outback dawn will be even more memorable as they watch the sun bathe both Uluru and the magnificent Kata Tjuta."

Mr Hunt thanked the traditional owners of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park for their support for tourism on their country.

"I would like to thank the Chairman of the Board of Management, Donald Fraser and the rest of the Board for their commitment to working with Craig Catchlove and his colleagues at the Central Australian Tourism Industry Association to shape this sunrise vision," Mr Hunt said. "My thanks too to Senator Nigel Scullion for his commitment to the sunrise project."

Senator Scullion said the new viewing site would enrich the experience of increasing numbers of local and international visitors to Uluru.

"The new site is ideal. It offers wonderful views throughout the day and great photographic opportunities that will internationally showcase the unique landscape of the Northern Territory," Senator Scullion said.

"We hope that the tourism industry and the traditional owners will be able to develop a range of new visitor experiences on this site."

"This funding comes on top of the $1.77 million the Australian Government recently made available to Kakadu to accelerate implementation of the report, A Shared Vision for Tourism in Kakadu National Park," Mr Hunt said.

"We believe parallel development of tourism infrastructure and the creation of new visitor experiences in both parks will pay economic dividends in the future.

"The Australian Government is committed to ensuring that both Uluru and Kakadu remain globally acclaimed World Heritage Areas and prime international tourist destinations."

The new funding for sunrise infrastructure comes on top of some $15 million in Uluru's annual budget.

Media enquiries:
Kristy McSweeney (Mr Hunt's office) 0415 740 722
Lisa MacLean (Senator Scullion's office) 0419 641 282

Commonwealth of Australia