Published: 17 Aug 2020
In the lead up to the Northern Territory general election, we asked each major party and independent candidates to tell us how they planned to get behind the work of Aboriginal rangers caring for country.
For the last four years, the Territory Government has been running the Aboriginal Ranger Grants Program. This program provided grants for infrastructure and equipment purchases as well as helped to fund large land management and conservation projects carried out by Aboriginal organisations. The program is seen as a positive contribution to the Indigenous land and sea management sector by our Territory Aboriginal partner groups.
Due to this proven success, Country Needs People has been campaigning for the Aboriginal Ranger Grants Program to be grown and extended. Specifically, we asked the NT government and major parties to commit to growing the program to $20 million to be awarded over the next 4 years.
The Territory Labor Party has committed to continue to fund the Aboriginal Ranger Grants Program with $12 million earmarked for the next four years from the Territory budget.
Similar to the current program, the funding will go to a mix of capital grants and equipment, as well as land management and conservation. The capital grants help ranger groups purchase equipment and cover infrastructure costs. The land management and conservation grants support Aboriginal organisations tackle large scale projects like feral animal control, noxious weed management and cultural heritage protection.
The CLP has committed to increasing the capacity of Aboriginal ranger groups with training and development opportunities and doubling funding for the Aboriginal Ranger Grants Program.
In an email to Country Needs People, the CLP clarified that they would work with the Federal Government to double to the funding.
While not making specific reference to the Territory Aboriginal Ranger Grants program, the Territory Alliance have committed to supporting Aboriginal rangers with training and compliance powers. It has also committed to working with the Commonwealth Government to increase the number of, and resourcing for, Aboriginal rangers. Territory Alliance has also indicated funding will be made available to Aboriginal organisations in through their policy on managing Gamba grass.
The NT Greens support the needed increase of investment of $20 million over the next four years for the Aboriginal Ranger Grants Program. Further saying that this program is an essential investment in providing real jobs and opportunities with unquestionable social, cultural, economic and environmental benefits.
Yingiya Guyula has committed to working with whichever party wins power in the legislative assembly to see the government commit to growing the Aboriginal Ranger Grants Program through greater resourcing; more than $20 million over 4 years to ensure country is protected from threats like weeds and pests and to ensure country is protected in the context of greater tourist numbers in East Arnhem Land.
Beverley Ratahi has supported the extending of the Northern Territory Aboriginal Ranger Grants Program to ensure that Aboriginal rangers across the NT are supported with operational and infrastructure funding.
Beverly has also committed to ensuring that the NT Government actively pursue the Federal government for the prompt issuing of extended Indigenous ranger jobs contracts.
Country Needs People is a non-partisan organisation. We think the success of the Indigenous Land and Sea Management sector is something that all sides of politics should get behind. We do not tell people who to vote for, but before elections, we provide our supporters with a run-down of what parties and candidates have publicly committed to with regards to Indigenous Land and Sea management