A Top End mining town that suffered years of economic turmoil will receive an emergency $351 million shot in the arm.
Locals had feared Jabiru was in danger of dying after Energy Resources of Australia’s (ERA’s) Ranger Uranium Mine ceased exploration activity back in 2013 when the area, 262km west of Darwin, was formally included in Kakadu National Park at the request of environmental activists.
Since peak construction at the mine ended the town’s population dropped by two thirds to barely 1000 people and an 80 per cent drop in international tourist numbers to just 30,000 a year really impacted on the local economy. The town was bracing for the worst when the mine completely closed in the year 2021.
Town will be ‘saved’
The Northern Territory and Federal governments have signed a new contract to pay for several infrastructure upgrades that could potentially save Jabiru.
Works include a new visitor centre, Aboriginal cultural centres, road upgrades, telecommunications, power station, health clinic and education precinct.
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‘Biggest and quickest’ turnaround
Federal Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley promises the work will help Jabiru have the “biggest and quickest possible turnaround” for the region.
ERA is undertaking a massive $800 million rehabilitation of the mine site that is expected to end in 2026.