The Northern Territory Government has provided grants to NT tourism businesses to fund the installation of solar energy systems.
Chief Minister and Tourism Minister Adam Giles recently announced a $27,000 grant for Birding Billabongs NT to install solar power in order to mimimise environmental impact of the operation and boost power generation capacity, while reducing energy costs.
“Birding Billabongs NT is being established as a new ecotourism business providing a small number of caravan sites and camping grounds close to billabongs and waterways on a 4800 hectare property in the Douglas Daly region,” said Minister Giles.
“It will provide a unique birdwatching experience where tourists can bird watch from the comfort of their own caravan or camp site.
Another tourist destination to receive solar funding recently is Rum Jungle Bungalows in the Batchelor region, which will benefit from a $30,000 grant for the installation of solar panels and a water bore.
“Having the bungalows run on solar power will enhance the reputation of the business as an environmentally sustainable operation while the water bore will allow the business to improve the quality of their tropical and native gardens,” said the Minister.
Earlier this month, Minister Giles announced a solar powered campsite project will be developed by Remote Tours NT through a $21,000 tourism infrastructure grant.
“The solar lighting will be used at the Lilla Educational Campground near Kings Canyon, which hosts hundreds of interstate school children each year visiting Central Australia through Remote Tours,” he said.
Reg Ramsden from Remote Tours NT said the project will provide a valuable boost to the tour business.
“I’d like to thank the NT Government for their assistance because having solar power at the campsite will help in a number of ways including teaching kids about renewable energy,” Mr Ramsden stated.
“It will also help to save money from not having to purchase diesel fuel and enhance the visitor experience by not having a noisy generator running.”
The grants are part of the Country Liberals Government’s goal to develop a $2.2 billion visitor economy in the Top End by 2020. The NT Government says its $4.75 million Tourism Infrastructure Development Fund (TDIF) is the largest government tourism grant program in the Territory’s history. Further information on the TDIF can be viewed here.