Tourist hub transformation plan for Kakadu town

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Kakadu experience? A glimpse of the new vision for a rejuvenated Jabiru. PIC: NT Government

The town of Jabiru at the heart of Kakadu National Park has officially been given a stay of execution … and now appears to be certain to receive significant investment to be transformed into a tourist hub.

Having originally been scheduled for demolition in 2021, the NT Government has just promised to provide Jabiru with the current level of essential services – such as electricity, water, sewerage, education and health services – for at least five more years.

And, along with the Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation, it has unveiled a $446 million blueprint for the town that would see crocodiles removed from the lake to allow swimming, the launch of a five-star lodge, glamping, an indoor and outdoor performance area, and a World Heritage Interpretive Centre.

Jabiru, located 253 kilometres east of Darwin, was built by Energy Resources of Australia in 1982 to service the nearby Ranger Uranium Mine on the condition it be returned to its ‘pre-development state’ once the lease expired in 2021.

Energy Resources of Australia has reiterated it is committed to meeting its rehabilitation obligations for the town and would continue to work with stakeholders to understand what the Jabiru masterplan will mean for existing premises and infrastructure.

“ERA will continue to have a significant presence in the region for a number of years as we progressively rehabilitate the Ranger mine,” said chief executive, Paul Arnold. “We are determined to make the transition for those affected as smooth as possible.”

Jabiru is home to about 1,100 people and is one of the key service points in the World Heritage listed Kakadu. While the stunning beauty of the national park is indisputable, Kakadu has struggled in recent years as visitation has declined in the face of the growing popularity of nearby Litchfield … and some traveller resistance to entry fees.

Stafford Strategy Consultancy Group believes new investment is critical across tourism, services, marketing, innovation and technology to re-invigorate Jabiru. It says this would encourage visitors to go to the park in the wet and shoulder seasons, as well as the dry season.

The consultancy also suggested that opportunities for renewable electricity production be explored, electric cars and boats be introduced, and virtual reality technology used to provide cultural tourism experiences.

The forecast Jabiru redevelopment would require $256.3 million worth of public investment, $133.5 million in joint private and public projects, and a further $56.2 million in privately funded commercial projects.

*Is this the right way forward for Jabiru? Comment below.

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One Response to Tourist hub transformation plan for Kakadu town

  1. Alcohol was ectremely ecpesive unaffordable as travellers unless you become a member for 50 dollars a year from the club there

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