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Sunrise at Uluru to be more spectacular.



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Greg Hunt, MP

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Media Release Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment & Heritage Member for Flinders Greg Hunt MP

25 October 2005

GH05/120

Sunrise at Uluru to be more spectacular

Greg Hunt MP, Parliamentary Secretary with ministerial responsibility for Uluru - Kata Tjuta National Park, today released draft options for a new sunrise viewing area at Uluru.

“More than 400,000 visitors come to Uluru every year from all over the world and we expect double that number in ten years time,” Mr Hunt said.

“For almost every visitor, the highlight of the trip - the absolute “must do”- is the unforgettable experience of seeing the sun rise over the rock.

“However, the current sunrise viewing area dates back twenty years when tourism at Uluru was in its infancy and has now reached its use-by date.

“These options look at how we can build a fantastic and safe sunrise viewing area that will cope with the increasing number of tourists coming to this international icon over the coming decades.”

Mr Hunt released the options whilst attending anniversary celebrations of the Handback of Uluru - Kata Tjuta to the traditional owners and the creation of Uluru - Kata Tjuta National Park in 1985.

“The draft report recommends seven options. I am very interested in the views of the tourism industry and traditional owners on these options. The Central Land Council will be consulting with the traditional owners, Anangu, about the report.

“It will then be the job of the Uluru - Kata Tjuta Board of Management to look at the feedback and decide the best way forward,” Mr Hunt said.

The options have been developed by engineering consultants Sinclair Knight Mertz to resolve the traffic problems associated with the existing viewing site and to create a better visitor experience. The options include limiting vehicle access; building a new carpark to the north east of the existing area; the construction of parking and viewing facilities at a new location; and changed road access.

“Some 600 visitors use the sunrise viewing area each morning. A new sunrise area is a priority not only

27/10/2005 http://www.deh.gov.au/minister/ps/2005/psmr25oct05.html

for the tourism industry but also for park management and Uluru’s traditional owners,” Mr Hunt said.

“I commend Craig Catchlove and the Central Australian Tourism Industry Association for their commitment to this project and look forward to working with the tourism industry in bringing these options to fruition in the near future.”

Comments should be forwarded to Craig Catchlove at the Central Australia Tourism Industry Association by 25 November 2005, so that the Board can take them into consideration at their December meeting.

Media enquiries: Kristy McSweeney, 0415 740 722

To download the Sunrise viewing options, visit www.deh.gov.au/parks/uluru/sunrise.html Or contact Craig Catchlove, ccatchlove@catia.asn.com.au Closing date for comments: Friday 25 November 2005.

Last updated: Tuesday, 25-Oct-2005 16:55:00 EST

Department of the Environment and Heritage GPO Box 787 Canberra ACT 2601 Australia Telephone: +61 (0)2 6274 1111

© Commonwealth of Australia 2005