Wednesday, 4 August 2021
Indigenous Ranger Program
Last Saturday, 31 July, was World Rangers Day, where we celebrate the work of rangers around the world in protecting our planet's natural environment. Today I would like to acknowledge Australian Indigenous rangers, who make a significant contribution in protecting Australia's national heritage. The Indigenous rangers combine traditional knowledge with conservation training to help protect and manage Australia's natural heritage. They undertake a range of important projects, including activities such as bushfire mitigation and the protection of threatened species. They also play a critical role in Australia's national biosecurity system, particularly in northern Australia, where they work to combat exotics pests and diseases as a key part of the Northern Australia Quarantine Strategy.
The Morrison government has committed to long-term funding for the Indigenous Ranger Program, with the Minister for Indigenous Affairs, the Hon. Ken Wyatt MP, announcing an additional $746 million over the next seven years to provide ongoing support for over 80 organisations engaged in land and sea management. This will support 1,900 Indigenous jobs, and it is a demonstration of the Morrison government's continued commitment to respecting the unique relationship that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have with the land. Examples from my home state include the Midwest Aboriginal Ranger Program, in the seat of Durack, and the Spinifex Land Management Rangers, in the seat of O'Connor. The benefits offered by this program are clear on two fronts: they achieve broad economic and environmental goals. We must always remember that these programs are occurring in places with a very thin economic base and yet an essential requirement for ongoing land management services. So this is certainly a win-win situation for all.