Aboriginal Ranger groups and land and sea management organisations from the east and the west Northern Territory today called on all political parties and candidates to support the work of Rangers by extending and growing the Northern Territory Aboriginal Ranger Grants funding program. The fund is due to run out this year.
This is a practical way of supporting work to look after the country”. Said Tobias Nganbe from Thamarrurr Development Corporation in Wadeye/Port Keats. “Practical things like quad bikes to get out and tackle weeds like Gamba grass, vehicles to get people on country to manage fire, this is making sure people are geared up to be effective in their work”. “We combined the grants with our own funds to buy a safe patrol boat for our coastal waters. Rangers and traditional owners working together can lead to stronger healthier country, stronger healthier people, and a stronger future for people on their land” he said
Mandaka Marika from Dhimurru Aboriginal Corporation in Nhulunbuy Nth East Arnhem said “We would like to see the Ranger Grant funding continue so that Rangers can continue their work to look after country – Ŋilimurru bukmak djaka waŋwu - All of us together looking after country”. Dhimurru has had many years of support from the Ranger Grants including most recently support for marine debris which is a major issue.
The Ranger grants program has run for the last four years supporting projects like construction of work sheds, contributing to purchase of all-terrain vehicles, patrol boats, weed and fire management equipment, and projects like tackling invasive gamba grass and mimosa, reducing impacts of buffalo on sensitive wetlands, fire-fighting equipment and more.
Patrick O’Leary of Country Needs People added “The work of Rangers has many thousands of supporters across the Territory. People love to see that practical work to look after country being done, we know it supports jobs where they are needed most, and importantly is guided by elders to ensure the right cultural approach is taken. The Territory benefits from a healthier environment, better managed fire, and boots on the ground to tackle feral animals and invasive weeds. We’re definitely urging all parties and candidates to extend and grow the Ranger Grants funding for another four years. On World Ranger Day now would be the time to do it”.