Indigenous Land and Sea Ranger program expands

Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef and Minister for Science and Youth Affairs The Honourable Meaghan Scanlon

Olkola Rangers Jack and Fred. The Olkola Aboriginal Corporation currently owns and manages over 800,000 hectares of Olkola Traditional lands in Central Cape York.

Fifty new Indigenous Land and Sea Rangers will be employed this year to help protect Queensland’s natural and cultural landscapes.

The Palaszczuk Government is providing the first instalment for a total of 100 new Indigenous ranger jobs, to be funded over the next three years, which will double the number of Land and Sea Rangers in the program to 200.

Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon said the $24 million funding boost for the Queensland Indigenous Land and Sea Ranger Program would provide opportunity for First Nation organisations to manage their country and facilitate the exchange of knowledge and expertise with other land managers.

“We’re doubling the number of Indigenous Land and Sea rangers, to build on the fabulous job of caring for country that 100 rangers are already doing in 24 regional communities across Queensland,” Ms Scanlon said.

“By increasing Indigenous ranger numbers to 200 over the next three years, we’re delivering jobs and supporting the critical role of First Nations people in co-stewarding Queensland’s environment and cultural heritage.”

Through the Queensland Indigenous Land and Sea Ranger Program, First Nations organisations are provided with grants and support to establish ranger teams.

Ms Scanlon said the program delivered multiple benefits for First Nations communities and for the conservation of some of Queensland’s most valuable landscapes.

“The Indigenous land and sea rangers contribute to the protection of Queensland’s ecosystems and cultural heritage,” she said.

“The program also provides jobs and promotes economic opportunities associated with land and sea management.

“Ranger teams carry out habitat restoration, feral animal and weed control, fire management and drive community engagement such as Junior Ranger programs.”

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Councils and Corporations, and incorporated organisations working with Traditional Owners can apply for funding to employ new rangers. Organisations will need to demonstrate support from Traditional Owners, and to explain the environmental and cultural outcomes which the rangers would deliver.

Applications for the first round of 50 new positions close on 31 March 2021.

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