My children got to hang onto this story, This important story I hang onto this story all my life My father tell me this story My children can't lose it Our story is in the land It is written in those sacred places..." Bill Neidjie
Preparation Homework Complete a fact file about the Kakadu National Park location map showing Ranger Mine, Jabiluka Mine, Jabiru Town National Park Boundary Major rivers Make notes about land uses size Scenic attractions Importance of its flora and fauna Key attractions to tourists
Kakadu National Park The park covers an area of 19 804 km2 within the Alligator Rivers Region of the Northern Territory of Australia. It extends from the coast in the north to the southern hills and basins 150 km to the south The area is richly diverse, ecologically and biologically- Sandstone plateau and escarpment, extensive areas of savanna woodlands and open forest, rivers, billabongs, floodplains, mangroves and mudflats. Aboriginal people have occupied the landscape continuously for at least 50 000 years. Kakadu is on the Register of the National Estate because of its national significance to the Australian people. The wetlands of Kakadu are recognised for their international significance.
Management of the park Traditional land owners – Mirrar Aboriginal people In 1979 became a National Park (pressure was put on the Aboriginal people to allow this to happen) established to; 1.conserve its natural and cultural values 2.provide for appropriate visitor use, 3.provide a place where the rights of Aboriginal people as the traditional owners and managers of the land are recognised.. Management Partnership Parks Australia Traditional owners – Mirrar Aborigines Other Aborigines
It is especially important to the traditional owners that their children and future generations of traditional owners can enjoy the same rights, responsibilities and understanding of their culture as the current traditional owners. Joint management cannot work unless the partners trust each other and are committed to making it work. I don't think that many people know that this is Aboriginal land. This is our home … our backyard.. We live here. It 's wonderful for us when people respect that." Mandy Muir
The importance of Kakadu As well as being important to traditional owners, Kakadu is a special and important place to many other people. To local residents and neighbours, the park is not only a place where they live and work, but a place for recreation.. Kakadu is especially significant as a conservation area in northern Australia. It is also important to the regional economy, especially the tourism industry. Kakadu is a place of national tourism and conservation significance. Important as a rich uranium source. Therefore important to nuclear industry and economy of Australia The park was one of the first Australian places to be listed as a site of World Heritage significance. It is one of only a small number of sites listed as a World Heritage area for both its natural and cultural heritage. Kakadu is subject to a number of other international agreements and treaties.
The Aborigines We have lived here for 50,000 years. we have learned to live in harmony with the environment Conflict has occurred over mineral development at sacred sites, e.g. Coronation Hill. Our sacred sites must not be disturbed. The idea of tourism is not part of our heritage we do not want to loose our rights and culture. Many of our sites are being threatened by weather, termite nests and tourists. Fewer than 300 aboriginal people now live in the park..We live a semi nomadic lifestyle. The park is our home we must look after it. It provides 50% of our diet. We help in park administration. Our traditional methods of fire management have lead to good maintenance of the ecosystem.
Tourism Kakadu is an important place for tourism and recreational use. The traditional owners are proud to share parts of their country with visitors, particularly those who are interested in learning about their culture and the land. They are keen for visitors to appreciate and enjoy the park and to develop a special sense of what Kakadu is and means to traditional owners. They are also keen for visitors to take that special understanding of the park home with them. However, while recognising an obligation to encourage the people to appreciate and enjoy the park, tourism is not to become more important than caring for country.
Tourism effects Create a mind map of the effects of tourism on Kakadu National Park
Effects of tourism – positive and negative Uncontrolled tourism may have a substantial impact on the environment. Footpath erosion at rock art sites Trampling of precious plants Pollution form vehicles and litter Camping out of designated campsites Illegal fire starting – particularly a problem in dry season Changed the Aboriginal culture, introducing alcohol, stress disunity Increasing pressure for more roads, hotels and camping facilities Tourism intrudes on the privacy of the Aboriginal people In the wetlands boats are causing pollution and disturbing wildlife Over fishing Seasonal work – boosts the economy – creating jobs for aboriginal people Ecotourism is growing Aboriginal people are keen to let people hear about their myths and legends It helps people become aware of the Aboriginal culture If economic returns for tourism increased there would be less need for mining
Mining in Kakadu Kakadu is highly mineralised with uranium, important in the generation of nuclear power. Ranger Mine opened in 1980 and was accompanied by the creation of Jabiru. ( 5 th largest town in the Northern Territory) Local Aboriginal people are now outnumbered 7-1 The areas rich in Uranium have not been included in the National Park. Demand for uranium is now growing and stockpiles are low. Uranium has been found in a new area Jabiluka. Should a new mine be allowed to open? Ranger Mine
Negatives of mining Communities near uranium production are becoming aware of the inevitable health dangers that result from uranium mining Potential radioactive leaks into surrounding wetlands endangers the fragile ecosystem of the Alligator River system. The river system is vital to the health of nearby Aboriginal communities who depend on the river for drinking water and food. Mining at Ranger in Kakadu has breached operational guidelines more than 120 times Mining companies rarely address the problem of worker exposure to dangerous levels of radioactivity. The most recent social study, conducted for the Kakadu Region Social Impact Study (KRSIS), found that: Aboriginal communities are being asked to forego a healthy, traditional lifestyle in exchange for monetary compensation and job opportunity. The most recent social study, conducted for the Kakadu Region Social Impact Study (KRSIS), found that: "the measurable social conditions of the Aboriginal population of Kakadu region are no better than they were in the previous decade, and are no better than those of their neighbours. The industry, bureaucracy, infrastructure, facilities and services that provide employment and suburban modernity for the region's workforce, and allow comfortable recreation for nearly a quarter million visitors annually, have not provided any significant general improvement in the measurable quality or length of life of the aboriginal residents.
Positives of Mining The creation of jobs, 230 people at Ranger Jabiluka will employ 110 people Stimulates the economy Financial security for the region In the case of the Jabiluka mine site, which is currently being constructed on historically native lands, mining royalties have been offered in excess of $200 million dollars to the local Aboriginal community (as a mitigation tactic) Supports economic growth for Australia so the government are in favour Employment and education opportunities have been provide through Ranger, and hopefully in the future through Jabiluka. Comprehensive effort has been made to overcome the cultural barriers that have impeded the successful integration of Aboriginal people Aboriginal people now comprise 20% (equalling 47 Aboriginal employees) of the Ranger workforce Energy Resources of Australia Ltd ( ERA) has an airstrip at Ranger which is used as a key tourst facility The Mining Company has built roads which are very useful to tourists
In 1995-96, Energy Resources Australia sold uranium worth about $180 million, and paid …. $26.7 millionshareholders $22.9 million (in taxes) Commonwealth Government $1.7 million in royaltiesNorthern Territory Government $8.6 million.ERA's workers $5.8 millionAboriginals Benefit Trust Account (ABTA). lease payments of $273,000 direct payments to traditional owners
shareholders Commonwealth Government Northern Territory Government ERA's workers Aboriginals Benefit Trust Account (ABTA). direct payments to traditional owners ERA profits
Tourism was estimated (in 1991-92) to be worth about $122 million in Kakadu. The Traditional Owners received $976,000.
The problem The national Park has been home to the Aboriginal people for thousands of years Since 1950s modern commercial developments have threatened their lifestyle and environment Tourism depends on the environment Both tourism and mining earn lots of money for Australia from which the Aboriginal people benefit Can all people be pleased?
Your must decide what the future should be for the National Park Option 1 – Commercial development of Kakadu – based on mining and Tourism Option 2 - Conservation of Kakadu – no economic development permitted Option 3 – Sustainable Development – limiting mining & tourism and placing an emphasis on conservation
Activities What are the advantages of economic development in Kakadu? Which disadvantages of tourism in Kakadu would it be possible to take protective measures against? Why are the Aboriginal people feeling threatened? Do they all feel this way? Consider each option and complete the following table. Using evidence from the whole study give reasons in support of the option you think is best. For one of the other options give reasons why it should not be adopted. OptionArguments forArguments against