Kakadu National Park


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1981, Total Running Time 60 Minutes (2 x 30 Minutes)

Kakadu National Park is a two-part series that records the scientific programs carried out in the Magela Creek marine environment and the surrounding flood plains of the Alligator Rivers region, to measure the possible impact of toxic, heavy metals effluent from uranium mining.

In 1981 there were four uranium mines - Ranger was in operation and three others, Jabiluka, Koongarra and Nabarlek were being proposed - within the newly formed Kakadu National Park. Kakadu is a vast wetlands that is biologically one of the richest areas in Australia. It  forms the catchment area for the South and East Alligator Rivers, 200 kilometres east of Darwin in the Northern Territory.

As a result of the Fox Report (also known as the Ranger Uranium Environmental Inquiry) the office of the Supervising Scientist was set up to oversee the environmental aspects of mining operations in the area and to assist in the establishment of standards and procedures for environmental protection. At that time the Ranger uranium mine was in operation and three others, Jabiluka, Koongarra and Nabarlek were being proposed.


Measure of Care Measure of Care gives a broad overview of the Alligator Rivers Region in which Kakadu National Park and four uranium mines reside. The area contains many Aboriginal sacred sites and thousands of rock paintings that provide a unique historical record of Aboriginal habitation. These art sites are recorded on the World Heritage List. We observe the impact of introduced human practices and animal species, such as buffalo that put pressures on the ecosystem and we follow the studies of several fish ecologists who are working on the possible contaminating effects on the marine environment by toxic, heavy metals discharged into the Magela Creek system as waste products of uranium mining.

Impact of Mining The office of the Supervising Scientist was established after Kakadu was declared a national park, in order to monitor the environment and assist in the establishment of standards and procedures for environmental protection as a result of uranium mining in the area. Following on from Measure of Care, Impact of Mining explores in greater detail various scientific research programs including the Magela Creek aquatic ecosystem, the fish biology program, invertebrate studies and studies of algae and interviews both scientists and managers from the Ranger uranium mine about the possible effects that toxic contamination from mining effluent would have on this richly diverse environment.

Produced by Film Australia from archival material filmed for the Supervising Scientist Department of Home Affairs and Environment. © 2011 National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.


Director: David Roberts

Year: 1981

Total Running Time: 60 Minutes

Classification: Exempt from classification

Curriculum Links: Biodiversity, Conservation & Land Management, Geography, Ecology, Environmental Studies, Environmental Management in Mining; Science (general and biology), SOSE, HSIE (Geography Stage 6).


Kakadu Man

SKU 003113900
Brand Film Australia

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