The Country Needs People campaign has been working hard to get politicians from all sides of politics to commit to growing and securing funds for Indigenous rangers and Indigenous Protected Areas. So where do they stand in the 2019 federal election?
We've been asking for three things:
- Double funding for Indigenous ranger jobs and Indigenous Protected Areas over the next five years;
- Secure a long term future for these programs; and
- Ensure quality delivery and a long term target of 5000 Indigenous ranger jobs nationwide.
Here's what the parties have said in response:
The Australian Labor Party has committed to double funding for Indigenous rangers and Indigenous Protected Areas over the next five years if elected. They have also committed to doubling the number of full time equivalent ranger positions to 1670. The ALP has also committed to implement six year contracts for rangers and IPAs and implement a system of rolling contract renewals every three years.
The Australian Greens have committed to double annual Indigenous Protected Area funding, and to "accelerate investment" into Indigenous rangers with an additional $347 million over five years. The Greens have committed to “guarantee long term predictable funding” for IPAs and a 10 year funding horizon for Indigenous rangers. The Greens have set a target of 5000 Indigenous rangers by 2025.
Liberal National Coalition
The Coalition hasn’t yet committed to doubling ranger jobs and IPA funding, or delivering the security Country Needs People has asked for, however funding for Indigenous Protected Areas and Indigenous rangers has grown during the Coalition Government. The current government signed contracts continuing funding for Indigenous rangers until June 2021 and for Indigenous Protected Areas until June 2023. Coalition policy states they will continue to invest in the ranger program but as yet there is no specific plan for future growth.
Centre Alliance commits to supporting doubling both the number of Indigenous Rangers and funding for Indigenous Protected Areas, with longer term contract arrangements for both programs. In particular, Rebekha Sharkie MP, Senate candidate Skye Kakoschke-Moore and candidate for the seat of Grey, Andrea Broadfoot have supported the Country Needs People campaign and its asks.
The following Independent candidates have stated support for growing and securing longer term funding for Indigenous rangers and Indigenous Protected Areas:
- Andrew Wilkie MP, independent MP for the seat of Denison;
- Kerryn Phelps MP, independent MP for the seat of Wentworth;
- Rob Oakeshott, independent candidate for the seat of Cowper;
- Julia Banks, independent candidate for the seat of Flinders;
- Susan Moylan-Coombs, independent candidate for the seat of Warringah;
- Zali Steggall, independent candidate for the seat of Warringah;
- Anthony Pesec, independent candidate for Senate in ACT;
- Oliver Yates, independent candidate for the seat of Kooyong;
- Adam Blakester, independent candidate for the seat of New England;
- Trevor Jones, independent candidate for the seat of Boothby;
- Other Independents and parties may also support the Country Needs People asks but have either not published their position or communicated it to the campaign.
More than 95 000 of us have communicated with our local MPs and Ministers through the Country Needs People campaign. Our voices have made a real difference. All our emails, all the meetings, phone calls, all the media reports, Facebook posts, videos, letters from Indigenous organisations, events around the country, tweets… all our hard work to shine a spotlight on the incredible success of Indigenous rangers and Indigenous Protected Areas has had a powerful influence.