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Wednesday, 23 April 1980
Page: 1701

Senator KILGARIFF - I direct a question to the Minister representing the Minister for Science and the Environment. As from last week, the Kakadu National Park plan of management has become a public document. Paragraph 60 of that document refers to co-operation with Northern Territory authorities. Can the Minister expound further along the lines of Federal and Territory responsibility in this area? What firm lines of liaison and co-operation have been agreed upon between the two governments? What is the future of the town of Jabiru in regard to its management and development of and association, if any, with the Kakadu National Park?

Senator CHANEY - In the preparation of the plan of management for the Kakadu National Park there was considerable liaison between the Conservation Commission of the Northern Territory and the Commonwealth authority- the Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service. There were detailed discussions between officers of those two groups as the plan was being developed and the completed final draft was provided to the Northern Territory body before it was published so that it had an opportunity to comment before that time. The staff of those two bodies, as a result of the agreement between the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister, are working together on a day-to-day basis in the management of the park, and the detailed conditions of employment of Northern Territory officers in the park were agreed between the respective Territory and Commonwealth Public Service boards. So there has been co-operation at that level as well.

Both governments agreed to the establishment of an advisory committee with representatives of the Commonwealth, the Territory and the Northern Land Council to facilitate co-operation and co-ordination in the park, and Senator Kilgariff would be aware of the close interest of the Northern Land Council, representing the

Aboriginal owners, and the Territory Government, representing all the citizens of the Northern Territory. As far as Jabiru is concerned, provision is made in the plan for its future development, consistent with agreed government policies. The responsibility for the construction and development of the town rests with the Jabiru Town Development Authority. The town plan, as given in the management plan, has been developed jointly by the Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Town Development Authority.

The plan of management emphasises the need for recreation facilities for the residents of Jabiru, who will, of course, be living in the middle of the park. As a consequence of an amendment made last year to the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act, town construction work has been undertaken under a licence arrangement. The working arrangements developed between the two organisations have ensured that no delays have occurred in the scheduled development of the town. Each licence for construction activity is approved by the Northern Land Council after it has been considered by it. There is close and continuing contact between the Director of the Commonwealth Service and the relevant Northern Territory authorities with regard to the preparation and implementation of the plan of management. This is seen by the Commonwealth as essential. The progress achieved so far is encouraging and, we believe, will ensure that high standards are met with respect to both the development of the park and the development of Jabiru.

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