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Jabiru's future secure as parties sign MoU

15 August 2019

Jabiru Lake formed the backdrop at the historic signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which will secure Jabiru’s future as the tourism heartland of Kakadu National Park, on Wednesday, August 14.
Federal Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley, Northern Territory Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Selena Uibo, Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation (GAC) Chair and a senior Mirarr Traditional Owner Valerie Balmoore, and Energy Resources of Australia Ltd (ERA) Chief Executive and Managing Director Paul Arnold took part in the signing of the MoU, which will support the town’s transition from a mining town to a tourist town.
The four MoU parties have committed to their role in the future of Jabiru and to growing the town as a regional services and tourism hub for Kakadu National Park and the West Arnhem region. 
This significant event follows on from the announcement of a new partnership, Jabiru Kabolkmakmen Ltd which took place in Jabiru on Wednesday, July 31.
Federal Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley said, “This is about working together to ensure that the community will prosper and the mining land is cared for.” 
“The Australian Government has committed $216m to Kakadu with $35m directly supporting Jabiru’s transition from mining to tourism. Importantly, the certainty that comes from this MoU will encourage further private investment.”
Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Selena Uibo said the NT Government has committed a further $135.5m to the town.
“Jabiru is, and always has been, Aboriginal land. The Territory Labor Government will work closely with GAC to support the employment opportunities tourism will present for the Mirarr people, so they can achieve their social and economic aspirations,” Minister Uibo said.
“Kakadu is home to the oldest continuous culture on earth. The Mirarr traditional owners, by drawing upon more than 65,000 years of knowledge and wisdom, can improve the visitor experience for those who come to visit this very special part of the Territory.” 
Chair of GAC and a senior Mirarr Traditional Owner Valerie Balmoore said the Corporation has formed a new partnership with the NT Government, Jabiru Kabolkmakmen Ltd, to guide the post-mining move, and developed a Jabiru Master Plan to drive the town’s evolution. 
“The Masterplan is our vision for the new Jabiru town. We welcome the investment commitments from the Commonwealth and the Northern Territory and ERA in supporting our goals. Jabiru and Kakadu are places where we can share our cultural heritage with future generations,” Ms Balmoore said. 
ERA Chief Executive and Managing Director Paul Arnold said ERA will continue to have a presence in Jabiru as the Company undertakes the rehabilitation of the Ranger Project Area to protect Kakadu’s World Heritage values.  
“I want to acknowledge the leadership of the Mirarr Traditional Owners and the contributions of the Commonwealth and Northern Territory Governments toward creating a future for Jabiru,” Mr Arnold said. 
“ERA is proud of its role in establishing the town and the contribution of our people to the community over the last 40 years. We look forward to continuing to be a valued member of the community and working closely with the Mirarr and the Commonwealth and NT Governments to support the transition of Jabiru.  
As Jabiru transitions from a mining town to a locally-led community, until 2023, the Northern Territory Government will continue to take responsibility for essential services and infrastructure, including education, health, police, fire and emergency services.