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Greg Hunt MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Federal Member for Flinders
9 May 2006
Coronation Hill in Kakadu National Park is to be rehabilitated as part of the Australian Government's revitalisation of its World Heritage national parks.
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Greg Hunt, today announced $7.3 million in funding over the next four years to rehabilitate abandoned uranium sites located in the South Alligator River valley in Kakadu National Park.
"This project will rehabilitate old mine sites and provide safe and secure storage to contain residues left from uranium mining and milling in the 1950s and 1960s, decades before Kakadu became a national park," Mr Hunt said.
"In those days, uranium mining was not subject to the stringent environmental requirements the Australian Government now has in place."
Coronation Hill - known by its traditional owners as Guratba - is a very significant cultural site for the area's traditional Aboriginal owners.
"Completion of this work will meet a commitment made ten years ago when the area became part of the park," Mr Hunt said.
"The project demonstrates the Australian Government's commitment to ensuring the very best environmental management of this important World Heritage site."
Funding for Kakadu also includes $1.77 million in 2005-06 to fast track recommendations of the report A Shared Vision for Tourism in Kakadu National Park.
"The $1.77 million will fund capital works, accelerate the development of crucial tourism policies and help deliver new visitor experiences, to make sure Kakadu regains its place as a prime international tourism destination," Mr Hunt said.
This follows Mr Hunt's recent funding announcement of $5.45 million in 2005-06 for a new sunrise viewing area at Uluru - Kata Tjuta National Park, and other infrastructure and equipment in Uluru and Kakadu National Parks.
"Uluru is arguably Australia's most recognised icon and a major drawcard for international tourists," Mr Hunt said. "More than 400,000 visitors come to the park every year, contributing an estimated $400 million to the Australian economy.
"The location of the new sunrise viewing area is spectacular and will be a huge improvement over the current congested site. The tourism industry has been seeking a new site for many years, and this project will provide a world class facility, befitting this globally acclaimed World Heritage Area."
For more information: www.deh.gov.au/about/publications/budget/2006
Kristy McSweeney (Mr Hunt's office) 0415 740 722