Together, we've been campaigning hard for long term security for Indigenous rangers and Indigenous Protected Areas, double the funding for Indigenous ranger jobs, and a long term target of 5000 Indigenous ranger jobs... and we're making inroads.
In 2017 alone, we've seen:
- $15 million for new Indigenous Protected Areas thanks to a Country Needs People-influenced deal between The Greens and the government;
- the incoming WA Labor government commit $20 million for Indigenous rangers;
- NT Labor deliver on their election commitment of $14 million for Indigenous rangers;
- the Australian Labor Party recommit to their plan to double Indigenous ranger jobs nationally;
- Spinifex Land Management receive a last minute funding extension thanks to the efforts of local Liberal MPs, the Greens, and the government;
- comments from the Coalition government suggesting they plan to extend Indigenous Protected Area funding to 2023;
- a commitment from the Coalition government for $30 million towards capacity development for Indigenous rangers;
- an event in Parliament hosted by Nick Xenophon Team MP Rebekha Sharkie and attended by Indigenous rangers and representatives from around the country alongside Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion, Shadow Assistant Indigenous Affairs Minister Patrick Dodson, Senator Rachel Siewert, Shadow Environment Minister Tony Burke, Rowan Ramsey MP, Senator Jacqui Lambie, Luke Hartsuyker MP, Bob Katter MP, Senator Malarndirri McCarthy and more;
- Indigenous rangers and Indigenous Protected Areas recognised internationally as world leading programs in the 2017 World Future Policy Awards.
This adds to the incredible gains we made in 2016.
More than 55 000 Country Needs People supporters have let politicians know more Indigenous rangers are important to them, and this has added to pressure from stories in the news, social media noise, and events and meetings in Parliament and out bush.
But right now, Indigenous rangers and Indigenous Protected Areas are still facing a June 2018 deadline for their funding contracts, and we're well short of doubling the number of ranger jobs and setting the long term target of 5000 Indigenous rangers needed to meet the environmental need and the demand for work in communities. So we need to stay focused.
Sign the Country Needs People statement to signal your support for more Indigenous rangers and Indigenous Protected Areas for the long term, and we'll stay in touch with key opportunities to use our combined voices to influence the decision makers.