The Australian Conservation Foundation has welcomed bi-partisan commitment to help Australia’s largest national park make the transition from contested uranium mining zone to dynamic and globally-significant cultural and conservation region.
The Federal Coalition and Labor have both pledged significant funds towards revitalising Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory and transforming Jabiru township from mining town to tourism hub.
“ACF welcomes the bi-partisan support for a new era for Kakadu National Park and the township of Jabiru, as the area transitions from tailings to tourism,” said ACF campaigner Dave Sweeney.
“The political commitment builds on the long-standing efforts of the Mirarr Traditional Owners and is a credit to their vision and tenacity.
“ACF has worked closely with the Mirarr for more than 20 years and will continue to do so as Australia’s largest national park moves beyond being a contested uranium mining zone.
“We are keen to see specifics of the political funding commitments and delivery timelines and to see how Mirarr and other Aboriginal owners in the Kakadu region will be involved in making decisions about the future of their land.
“This is an important step in the transition to building a post-mining regional economy.
“There is also much work to be done to clean up the significant footprint left by decades of contested uranium mining at the Ranger mine site.
“This rehabilitation work will be complex and costly, so good cooperation will be essential between the Northern Territory and federal governments and mining company Rio Tinto to ensure the best possible outcome for Kakadu’s environment and community.”