Kakadu: Mining Vs Intangible valuesIntroductionThis article is all about a national park in Australia called Kakadu, which has both the intangible values and the mineral deposits. Controversy rose on whether to exploits these precious minerals deposits such as Uranium for national gain or preserve the natural setting of the Kakadu for its heritage values that have even enabled it to be listed on the top world heritage sites (Aplin, G 2004). Kakadu national park has a various kinds of assets; assets in accounting are economic resources. Assets are divided into tangible, intangible and heritage assets.
Tangible assets are those assets considered the goods of material nature and they can be perceived by senses. This means that tangible assets have a physical existence and they give the holders of the set of financial rights over them. For example, some of the tangible assets found in the Kakadu are; land, mineral deposits, trees, rivers, floodplains, mangroves, mudflats and mineral deposits such as uranium Aplin, G (2004). Moreover, Kakadu has a variety of wildlife such as birds, reptiles and many species of mammals. All these are called tangible assets because they exist and can be seen, they also have financial values to the nation. Intangible assets in accounting are those goods that lack physical substance and they are usually hard to evaluate, however, they provide value to the firm.
In most cases, intangible assets are attached to how nature has endowed a particular organization or region over the other (Barth & Clinch, 1998:1). It is easy to acquire tangible assets but very hard to acquire the intangible assets. Thus, the intangible assets are associated with the gifts of nature, in other words, how nature poses the advantage to a particular region or organization over its competitor (Garger, 2010:1).
Examples of intangible assets that are found in Kakadu national park are; archaeological sites, wildlife, physical features, the strategic location of the Kakadu and heritage values. Heritage assets are those goods that have value due to their contribution to the society’s knowledge and culture. These kinds of assets can be both physical and non-physical in nature. Sometimes, the social and spiritual values are termed to be heritage assets. Heritage assets are always described as inalienable because the holder of such kinds of assets cannot sell them out or dispose them.
In addition, heritage assets are those that are unique for the following reasons; first, their historical; nature, cultural artistic or education importance and their architectural characteristics. Generally, heritage assets have to be preserved definitely for their unique characteristics (Fasab. gov 2005:1) Some of the heritage assets that are found in Kakadu national park are aboriginal arts such rock carvings and cave paintings that have been existed for thousands of years.
Unique species of wild life such as poisonous snakes a variety of birds’ species and a variety of tree species that have medicinal values. Each of the elements of the financial statements has got a standard definition according to the conceptual framework. The conceptual framework definition of the word asset is that assets are future economic benefits controlled by the firm because of the past transactions or past events (Hhkicpa. org. hk, 2010:1). In this definition, the main criteria considered in identifying an asset are; when it is probable that the future economic benefits will eventuate.
In addition to this, a good qualifies to be an asset, when it poses a cost or other measurable value. In Kakadu, we have seen that it has numerous assets, but according to the conceptual framework of the definition of the word asset, few of these assets qualify to be assets. Some of the examples of those assets that qualify are; Uranium mineral deposits water and forests.