Media Release: New Indigenous Protected Areas revealed in huge win for environment

Published: 10 Jul 2024

The national non-profit organisation supporting Indigenous Protected Areas (IPAs) and Indigenous Rangers, Country Needs People, today welcomed the announcement of funding for more than 7 million hectares of new IPAs by Environment and Water Minister Tanya Plibersek which will kickstart the planning and development process.

“Indigenous Protected Areas are now the majority of all our protected areas on land in Australia. These 10 new IPAs and 2 enlarged IPAs will make a key contribution to managing biodiversity and cultural values on land and sea across Australia,” Country Needs People CEO Paddy O’Leary said.

“IPAs in Australia represent a globally leading model of collaborative protection placing Indigenous Traditional Owners at the centre of decision making over better protection and day-to-day management, as well as fostering greater collaboration between land and sea managers in government, business and non-profit organisations.

“We’d especially like to congratulate all the Traditional Owner groups who have worked hard to propose new IPAs – this funding will start a careful planning process that will occur over years to consult more deeply with Traditional Owners in each area, and to consult more widely with other stakeholders in the community.

“At the end of that process a fully drafted Indigenous Protected Area plan for each area will need to be approved by both Traditional Owners and government to then become fully operational as a management plan.

“Country Needs People and our network of over 50 frontline Indigenous land and sea management organisations Australia-wide have been advocating for increased investment in IPAs for a number of years and we’re really pleased to see Minister Plibersek following through on the government's promise to expand the IPA network.

“We’d also like to thank our supporter base of well over 100,000 Aussies of all backgrounds, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, who have supported us in this and contacted their federal politicians to urge them to strengthen support for Indigenous conservation work across Australia.

“Traditional Owners around Australia are committed to looking after their country but in a modern world - facing pressures from invasive pest plants, feral animals, threatened species needing help and a heating climate - we need to combine the strength of 65,000 years of cultural knowledge, management and responsibility to Country with modern science and technology and operational capacity.

“IPAs are a fantastic way of bringing the ‘two toolbox’ approach of Indigenous and non-Indigenous conservation and management systems together for better management of Country. IPAs also support jobs on Country through Indigenous Ranger positions and management roles, and open up more opportunities for partners and organisations of all backgrounds to work together for better protection.”


Country Needs People congratulates the following successful IPA applications and their Traditional Owners who will now undertake consultations identifying the values they want to protect and developing a management plan for Country

Jagun Alliance AC – Northern Rivers, NSW

Muunthiwarra AC – Cape York, QLD

Nyamal AC – Pilbara, WA 

Pormpuraaw Trustees – Cape York, QLD

Central Land Council – Simpson Desert, NT

Gong-dal AC – Arnhem Land, NT

Wadja AC – Brigalow Country, QLD

Esperance Tjaltjraak NTAC – South-West WA

Yindjibarndi AC – Pilbara, WA

Yurruungga AC – Bellinger Valley, NSW

Tjirilya AC – Coober Pedy, SA (expanded IPA)

Mabunji ARIC – Gulf of Carpentaria, NT (expanded IPA)

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