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Govt rejects claims services suffering at Kakadu

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 4 January 2005

The Federal Government has rejected claims that services at Kakadu National Park have been changed because of the abolition of entrance fees.

The Australian Conservation Foundation says there has been a reduction in access to helicopters for feral animal control and fewer weekend staff since the entrance fee was removed last month.

But the Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment, Greg Hunt, says Kakadu National Park is receiving an extra $4 million each year to compensate for the removal of the fees.

He says the changes in rostering and helicopter use aim to improve efficiency.

"There was some waste of public monies, there is no doubt about it," he said.

"The director of National Parks, with whom I've spoken this morning, was absolutely unapologetic in saying there was wasteful practice in relation to use of vehicles, there was wasteful practice in relation to use of helicopters."

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