Traditional owners have called for Kakadu National Park to be reopened to visitors as soon as possible.
Traditional owners have called for Kakadu National Park to be reopened to visitors as soon as possible.

Traditional owners calling for Kakadu to reopen

TRADITIONAL owners are pushing for Kakadu National Park to reopen to visitors as soon as possible.

Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation chief executive Justin O'Brien says Mirarr traditional owners urgently wanted to get Kakadu back up and running again.

"Aboriginal businesses in Kakadu need clarity from the NT Government about what's precisely required of them," he said.

"Clear guidelines that ensure businesses here are COVID-19 safe and allow for renewed economic activity are needed."

The NT News understands several meetings will take place this week between traditional owners and Parks Australia on reopening dates for both Kakadu and Uluru.

A Parks Australia spokesman said Kakadu was currently closed until 11.59pm on June 18, but the park management board still hadn't made a formal decision on that yet.

Tourism Minister Lauren Moss said she would like to see that date come forward.

"The department certainly have been in talks with Parks Australia about potentially bringing that day forward but ultimately it is a decision for them," she said.

It comes as other parks and reserves across the NT are set to reopen from June 5 as level three restrictions ease.

"We know that the tourism industry in the NT and indeed across Australia has been decimated because of COVID-19, so it is critical that if you have a spare dollar to spend if you've got an opportunity to get out and explore places, explore your backyard," Ms Moss said.

"I hope as more Territorians access our parks on June 5 that they continue to be courteous and respectful of our rangers and the incredible work that they do."

Originally published as Traditional owners calling for Kakadu to reopen