Published: 27 Oct 2020
The story so far:
For the last few years, Country Needs People has been campaigning for the Queensland government to double the number of rangers funded under the Qld Indigenous Land and Sea Ranger program. The program model provides funding for wages, equipment, support and training. The Queensland government also has staff that work closely with Indigenous land and sea management organisations and offers support where required to traditional owner organisations at the frontline. Only properly funded ranger jobs and operations that are ongoing year in year out can deliver the management of fire, feral animals, invasive weeds, threatened species protection and cultural heritage that Queensland needs.
Country Needs People has long been talking about the benefits of this model and it’s another reason why we are campaigning for the Queensland Indigenous Land and Sea Ranger program to be expanded. Indigenous rangers are a proven success story that all Queenslanders can be proud of.
So, with the Qld election looming, we thought we’d update you on where each of the major party stands when it comes to growing and supporting the Indigenous Land and Sea Ranger program.
Double the funding for Queensland Indigenous Land and Sea Rangers over four years from 100 to 200 positions.
The party and candidate responses so far:
On the 6th of October, Minister Leanne Enoch committed to doubling the number of Indigenous Land and Sea Rangers funded by the Queensland government saying:
“By increasing Indigenous Ranger numbers to 200 we’re delivering jobs for First Nations peoples and supporting the incredibly important contribution of First Nations peoples, and their generations of knowledge and experience in conserving cultural heritage and the environment."
The Liberal National Party
In statement provided to Country Needs People on the 23rd of October, the Liberal National Party stated:
“As part of the LNP’s Bushfire Mitigation Policy, the LNP will implement a traditional burning program run by indigenous rangers. The LNP will use knowledge and techniques that have evolved over tens of thousands of years to protect Queensland from bushfires.”
“The LNP Government will provide funding to enable the Gidarjil Development Corporation rangers to protect more state land and work with private landowners with the intention to implement in other regions.”
In November 2019, Greens MP Michael Berkman proposed a range of environmental measures including creating 200 new Indigenous ranger positions “to work with the QFES and RFSQ to better support and inform hazard reduction burns and landscape management.”
The Katter Australia Party
Responding to our enquiries by email on the 27th of October, Member for Hill Shane Knuth’s Office said:
“The Katter Australia Party is 100% supportive of increased funding for Indigenous Rangers and is committed to lobbying for an increase during the next term of government.”
Sandy Bolton – Independent for Noosa
In an email to Country Needs People on the 27th of November, Sandy Bolton stated:
“Indigenous Rangers are a vital and vibrant part of our environmental future in QLD. Country Needs People’s campaign to double funding for this program by the Qld State Government from 100 to 200 positions state-wide, should be applauded and supported by all who love our protected areas.”
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 our key asks: in this case growing Indigenous Land and Sea Ranger jobs across Queensland