Published: 30 Mar 2022
The national non-profit Country Needs People today congratulated Minister for Indigenous Australians, Ken Wyatt on committing to double Indigenous Ranger jobs across Australia over time with a $636 million dollar commitment in the federal budget as an investment of global significance.
Wuthathi rangers, Aiden Deemal and Davis Wilson conducting water quality monitoring at a freshwater lake on Wuthathi Country, Credit Kerry Trapnell.
“Indigenous Rangers are increasingly at the front line of managing some of our most challenging environmental issues” said Country Needs People Executive Director Patrick O’Leary. “Australia is facing severe pressure from increasing wildfire, invasive weeds, feral animals and other impacts. All of these pressures degrade and destroy biodiversity and damage ecosystems if not actively managed” said Mr O’Leary.
“In a warming climate we will need all hands on deck to protect and manage our environment for resilience in the face of great challenges. Traditional owners as the original managers of country are reasserting responsibility for keeping country healthy and we should be backing them”. Mr O’Leary said.
“This funding will support growing new ranger jobs and ranger teams, for women and men, literally from Sydney to the bush. We work with partners in some of the most remote areas of Australia, from theGreatSandyDeserttotheTorresStrait,fromtheKimberleytoArnhemLand. Butweknowthiswill support more jobs right around Australia.”
“There is room to grow this work and a great need to have better management. We can do this at the same time as creating meaningful jobs for local traditional owners, and everyone benefits from this work.” Mr O’Leary said
“We’d like to thank all the many traditional owners, rangers, organisations and Australians of all backgrounds who have supported our campaign over years and lead the way in their own communities. We face challenging times for both the environment and culture both of which are in many ways are the true riches of Australia along with our people. Combining traditional and local knowledge systems with contemporary science is the two-toolbox approach Australia needs. Boosting ranger jobs is a one key step in facing that future together.” Said Country Needs People Chairperson and long term Gunditjmara land and sea manager Denis Rose.
“Supporting on-ground groups in the careful roll out of these positions will be critical. We will continue to campaign for additional support for Indigenous Protected Areas beyond June next year, training, key infrastructure and technical backup but commend this major announcement in the budget.” Mr O’Leary said.
Country Needs People is an independent, non-partisan Australian NGO dedicated to supporting Indigenous land and sea management Australia wide. With a network of 42 frontline organisational partners and over 100,000 Australian supporters, Country Needs People works to celebrate and strengthen the success of Indigenous Australians working on country for the benefit of all Australians.