Innocuously titled “A Shared Vision”, John Morse’s report on Kakadu would variously be described by the press as a “scathing document” and “a litany of failings.” Yet of course there are plenty of positives, so it’s only fair to run the summary of findings in full.

• World’s oldest living culture.
• World Heritage area (recognised for its natural and cultural values).
• Awesome physical beauty.
• Diversity and size of cultural and physical landscape.
• World’s greatest “Art Gallery”, containing some of the world’s oldest and most extensive rock art.
• Diversity of six seasons.
• Abundant and varied wildlife.
• Passion of Traditional Owners and other stakeholders.
• Dedication of joint Park Managers.
• Enthusiasm about tourism from the majority of Aboriginal people.
• Strong foundation for the development of unique tourism experiences.
• Strong name recognition.
• Kakadu offers people profound experiences.
• Professional, passionate tourism industry.
• Existence of successful Aboriginal enterprises in park.

• Low knowledge of experience by potential visitors.
• Over-emphasis of geographic icons.
• Under-emphasis of culture.
• Lack of tourism management infrastructure.
• Negative local public image.
• Lack of strategic tourism planning and direction.
• Lack of strategic promotion
• Lack of brand definition and understanding.
• Beliefs of a few Parks Australia staff and Traditional Owners that tourism is incompatible with other park management priorities.
• Perception of diminishing access to areas within the park
•.Lack of product/experience development
• Limited Aboriginal involvement.
• Inadequate sense of arrival.
• Patchy information, interpretation and signage.
• Short tourism season as currently defined.
• Lack of understanding of Aboriginal culture /needs and wishes of Traditional Owners by some industry and visitors.
• Lack of communication or miscommunication between stakeholders.
• Quality of some tour operations is not appropriate.
• Limited numbers of Aboriginal people for future involvement in tourism
• Uncertainty of tourism operations due to seasonal influences.
• Lack of security of tenure for operators in the park.
• Lack of tourism understanding/management skills.
• Lack of interest in Aboriginal culture by Australian tourists.
• Historical legacy of tension between Territory and Australian governments.
• History of conflict and incompatibility relating to mining and its impacts on the environment and culture.
• Short land tenure remaining for Jabiru township.


Enjoy this article?

You can find it in Issue 2 along with
loads of other great stories and tips.