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Labor brings back entrance fee at Kakadu National Park.

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Mr Steven Ciobo MP Shadow Minister for Small Business, Independent Contractors, Tourism and the Arts

Labor’s decision to slug tourists with a $25 entrance fee to the Kakadu National Park could see visitor numbers fall away, Shadow Tourism Minister Steven Ciobo said.

“This is just the latest tax grab by the Rudd Labor Government, having a damaging effect on tourism, since coming into government less than 12 months ago,” Mr Ciobo said.

“We’ve seen the Rudd Labor Government introduce almost $1 billion of new tourism taxes this year while the industry has been struggling with the global financial crisis.

“The Rudd Labor Government is a high taxing government and this latest tax grab on visitors to Kakadu National Park shows just how low they’re willing to stoop.

“The scrapping of the entrance fee to Kakadu National Park back in 2004 by the Coalition when it was $16.25 was widely welcomed, and in fact led to an increase in park visitors.

“Now the Rudd Labor Government has reintroduced a $25 entrance fee which is a 54 per cent increase on the previous charge.

“Kakadu National Park is one of Australia’s national tourism icons, and this shortsighted decision by Labor is likely to have an impact on local tourism.

“Surveys by the Northern Territory Tourist Commission show the scrapping of entrance fees to Kakadu National Park four years ago led to a 20 per cent increase in park visits.

“The Kakadu National Park provides visitors with a unique experience that has been great value for the whole family, with no entrance costs.

“I am very concerned this new inflated tax by Labor will turn park visitors away.”