A commitment to contribute funding to Indigenous rangers is a forward-thinking recognition of the inspiring environmental and community benefits rangers deliver, the Country Needs People alliance has said following NT Labor’s announcement today.
Alliance member Dhimurru Aboriginal Corporation’s chair Rarrtjiwuy Melanie Herdman said the extra funding would be put to good use on her country in Northeast Arnhem Land.
“We have worked really hard to set up our Indigenous Protected Area and ranger groups but there’s more to do.
“Our rangers are maintaining the land, managing threats, spraying weeds, eradicating crazy ants, rescuing turtles, clearing ghost nets and this kind of funding boost could help us get the extra equipment we need to get those jobs done.
“For us as Yolngu, land, sea, people and songlines aren’t separate, so Indigenous ranger programs recognise the value our culture brings to land and sea management. These programs provide an opportunity and a platform from which we can honor our elders and be responsible for our heritage and this is good for everyone.
“We’d really encourage the CLP to look at increasing support for Ranger programs too, it’s part of creating a sustainable economic future in the Territory,” she said.
“There are millions upon millions of hectares of the Northern Territory that need management and we need people on the ground with the right equipment to do that.
“If we can keep the country healthy it’s good for the environment, for tourism and for our kids’ future and that’s good for all the Territory,” she said.
Indigenous rangers from Arnhem Land to the Central Desert are tackling weeds and feral animals, clearing pollution, monitoring landscapes and native wildlife at the same time as creating meaningful work that allows people to work on their ancestral country.
All eyes are now on the Country Liberal Party to see what they’ll do to recognise the success of Indigenous rangers.
There are currently 35 Northern Territory Indigenous ranger groups funded through the federal government Working on Country and Indigenous Protected Area programs.
The Country Needs People alliance includes 25 Indigenous organisations from around Australia calling for growth and security of Indigenous ranger and Indigenous Protected Area programs.