The Morrison Government has reaffirmed its commitment to new Sea Country Indigenous Protected Areas (IPAs) as part of its Oceans Leadership package, opening a $9.7 million in grants round now to support Indigenous organisations.
The funding is available for Indigenous-led consultation on the establishment of new Sea Country IPAs, as well as on-ground and on-sea activities such as turtle surveys, beach clean-ups, coastal patrols, and cultural site protection.
Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley said new Sea Country IPAs will generate new Indigenous job opportunities, helping Indigenous Australians to manage marine and coastal resources for the benefit of all Australians.
“Our world leading IPA network underlines the critical role of Traditional Owners in land management and the protection of biodiversity and as part of our commitment to Oceans Leadership we are encompassing additional areas of Sea Country,” Minister Ley said.
“Grants ranging from $800,000 to $1.3 million are now available to strengthen the conservation of marine biodiversity, and to provide a range of cultural and social benefits for communities including the transfer of Indigenous knowledge to younger generations.”
Minister for Indigenous Australians Ken Wyatt said the expansion to include more Sea Country recognises the wealth of knowledge Traditional Owners hold for coastal areas.
“Sea Country has fundamental significance to Indigenous Australians,” Minister Wyatt said.
“This will help our oceans, create new jobs and deliver health, education, economic and social benefits for Indigenous communities.”