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Uluru resort stands down hundreds of workers due to Coronavirus restrictions and downturn

Uluru resort stands down hundreds of workers due to Coronavirus restrictions and downturn
April 5, 2020

The largest tourism accommodation provider for Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park says it has stood down hundreds of staff in response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia, the company that operates the Uluru resort on behalf of the Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation, said it usually employed more than 1,000 workers across the site.

Explaining the move, Voyages Chief Executive, Grant Hunt stated “these are unprecedented times and we don't have a playbook for this.

"I just find this gut wrenching, it's heartbreaking.

"The individual toll that this will take on people and families is absolutely immense.

"I just encourage people to have compassion and to see the human side of all this."

Hunt said more than 500 staff had lost their jobs - 363 of these workers remained employees but were stood down, 118 seasonal workers resigned and the rest were made redundant.

Hunt advised “most of them will remain on site for the duration and we're hoping to bring them back as soon as we possibly can.

Voyages operates most of the accommodation in the town of Yulara, which is on the doorstep of Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park.

The park closed to visitors last week and strict COVID-19 border controls mean anyone arriving in the Northern Territory must self-quarantine for 14 days.

Hunt said many of his staff held visas that were ineligible under subsidy schemes such as the JobKeeper payments, adding “they've got nowhere to go, this is their home - so we're trying to make it as comfortable and easy for them as possible.

Hunt said the resort had also waived rent payments for remaining staff and commercial operators at the site but advised the redundancies were necessary because the company anticipated the recovery from the pandemic would take years.

He concluded “for us this is a multi-year recovery.

"It will take us a very long time to get back to the sorts of occupancies and staffing levels that we were seeing prior to the crisis."

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31st January 2020 - Coronavirus declared global health emergency by World Health Organization

28th October 2019 - Parks Australia launches new destination branding for Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

26th October 2019 - Uluru climb closes as hundreds scale sacred site on final day

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27th June 2019 - Rise in visitors to Uluru in advance of climbing ban

5th July 2018 - Japanese tourist dies during Uluru climb

1st November 2017 - Climbing Uluru to be banned from October 2019

9th July 2015 - Big ideas welcomed for Uluru tourism

21st January 2014 - Balloon flights proposed as safe alternative to climbing Uluru

29th October 2012 - Uluru climb numbers decline

18th January 2010 - Northern Territory Opposition politician says Uluru closure conditions are ‘disappointing’

14th July 2009 - Uluru Management Plan Needs Partnership Approach

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