Territory Stories

Parliamentary record : Part I debates (11 November 1986)



Parliamentary record : Part I debates (11 November 1986)


Debates for 4th Assembly 1983 - 1987; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 4th Assembly 1983 - 1987




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





Publisher name

Northern Territory Legislative Assembly

Place of publication


File type



Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

Copyright owner

Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



Parent handle


Citation address


Page content

DEBATES - Tuesday 11 November 1986 There are 2 broad listings, those under cultural property and those under natural property. I will run through the cultural criteria: that the area represents a unique artistic or aesthetic achievement; has exerted considerable influence, over a span of time, on the development of the area; is extremely - rare or of great antiquity; be among the most characteristic examples of a type of structure involved; be a characteristic example of traditional styles evolved for human settlement; be most importantly associated with ideas or beliefs, with events or with persons of outstanding importance or significance. Those are the very matters which the Deputy Chief Minister was happy to denigrate when he was representing us overseas. In every case, consideration will 'be given to the state of preservation of the property and that the features should be authentic'. In terms of natural property, 'outstanding examples representing the major stages of the earth's evolutionary history and outstanding examples representing significant ongoing geological processes, biological evolution and man's interaction with his natural environment'. Where better could you see that than. at Kakadu? 'Contain certain unique, rare or superlative natural phenomena, formations or features of exceptional natural beauty' and 'the habitats where populations of rare or endangered species of plants and animals still survive'. Those are the criteria of which, I have no doubt, the majority of members of this Assembly were happily ignorant until 10 seconds ago. Before they reject out of hand the nomination of stage 2 for World Heritage listing, members should at least make a pretence or a show of being informed about what they are about to vote on. It is a fact that stage 2 of Kakadu National Park fulfils everyone of the cultural and natural criteria laid down for World Heritage listing. From my own .work in Kakadu National Park, I know that 1 of the endangered and rare species contained in Kakadu National Park is that magnificent symbol of the Territory, the magpie goose. We all know that, once upon a time, the goose was found throughout this entire continent and in Tasmania also. It was found in every state. We take it for granted. We look at a magpie goose and literally do not see the outstanding beauty that visitors from overseas see in that bird. The bird exists here because the sedgelands and wetlands have been preserved in Kakadu National Park whereas they have been destroyed everywhere else in this country. The population of this magnificent and endangered bird is confined largely to the Northern Territory of Australia and, predominantly, to the wetlands of Kakadu National Park. The hooded parrot is another endangered species which lives in stage 2 of Kakadu National Park. That is yet another example of how Kakadu fulfils the criteria impeccably. Turning to cultural significance and the criterion of man's interaction with nis environment, where else in the world could such an outstanding example of the interaction between the original Australians and their environment be put forward for public viewing, as is now being done through some of the superb restoration and protective work of the ANPWS in the park? Not only do we have a documented 40 ODD-year history of the occupation of that area, largely preserved intact, but the descendants of the people who created that priceless inheritance still live in the park. This is . a uniqu~ matter indeed and has been commented on by many of the visitors who realise the outstanding value of Kakadu National Park. The extension of the park is an attempt to preserve a river system in its entirety. That seems to have escaped th~ attention of members opposite as well, even though this is the first time it has been attempted in a very long time. 758