Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park has shown Indigenous people have much to contribute to northern Australiaâ€™s economic development, according to Opposition Leader Tony Abbott.
Abbott visited Tjapukai on June 22 to inspect progress on the parkâ€™s $12 million transformation into Australiaâ€™s leading venue to experience Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.
Tjapukai continues to operate during the redevelopment and has hired additional Indigenous people from around Australia to broaden the range of cultures represented at the park. Indigenous workers also have been employed as part of the construction work.
During the visit,Â Abbott spoke about the Coalition’s vision for the region which includes further developing the tourist potential of Northern Australia.
â€œWe particularly want to develop Indigenous tourism in northern Australia because what makes our country unique is the Indigenous heritage, our Indigenous dimension,â€ he said.
â€œWhen people come to this country from overseas, they want to know what it is thatâ€™s special about our country; what it is that makes our country different.
â€œThis is where modern Australia should be so proud of its Indigenous heritage. This is where the Indigenous people of Australia have so much to contribute to our overall economic development.
â€œWe sometimes neglect the economic potential of Indigenous Australia. Tjapukai demonstrates that it’s more than possible to turn our Indigenous heritage into an economic opportunity and that is at the heart of our vision for Northern Australia. It is a very important part of our vision for the country.â€
Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch presented Abbott with the case for modest Federal assistance to prepare a business study for a national Indigenous museum to be built at Tjapukai.
Abbott said money was very tight at the moment, but he thought the museum was a very worthwhile proposal and the Coalition would give it very serious consideration between now and polling day.