Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

The Hon Tony Burke MP

Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities

The Hon. Jenny Macklin MP

Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Minister for Disability Reform

Warren Snowdon MP

Member for Lingiari

New Indigenous ranger jobs for the NT

Media release
17 December 2012

Sixteen new Indigenous ranger positions are being funded in the Northern Territory to protect and conserve Australia’s precious environment.

These positions have been funded through the Gillard Government’s $19.1 million Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory jobs package, which will deliver 50 new ranger positions in the Northern Territory.

As part of the highly successful Working on Country Program, these initial 16 positions have been allocated to Crocodile Island Rangers, Gumurr Marthakal Rangers, Tjuwanpa Women’s Rangers and Warddeken Manwurrk Land Management Limited.

These organisations are involved in a range of conservation work in the Northern Territory, including helping to protect spectacular stone and gorge country on the western Arnhem Land plateau, cane toad quarantine, and protecting the nationally significant nesting sites of Flatback, Green and Olive Ridley Turtles.

The Minister for Environment, Tony Burke, said the funding will cover the rangers’ salaries and contribute to operational costs in protecting the environment including fire, weed, feral animal and threatened species management.

“The expansion of the Indigenous Rangers network is one of the most important environmental achievements of this Government,” Mr Burke said.

“I have spent a great deal of time with these rangers and I am personally and passionately committed to the work they do.”

“This is real employment that delivers real environmental benefit and keeps culture strong in some of the north’s most intact and fragile ecosystems.”

The Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, said the program responds to what Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory have told us – they want jobs in their communities with proper wages and conditions.

“Having a job contributes to better health, encourages young people to get a decent education, and leads to stronger communities and local economies,” Ms Macklin said.

“Working on Country draws on the significant skills and knowledge that Indigenous people bring to land management.

“By using traditional methods and contemporary practices Indigenous rangers are helping protect our rarest and most threatened ecosystems.”

There will now be more than 690 Indigenous rangers employed under the Working on Country program delivering essential environmental services that benefit all Australians.

The Member for Lingiari, Warren Snowdon, welcomed the funding for local groups.

“As well as playing a valuable role in preserving country and culture, this funding will also give Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory the opportunity to enjoy the financial and social benefits of work,” Mr Snowdon said.

The Working on Country program recognises that protecting and conserving the environment is a shared responsibility, as well as providing sustainable employment for Indigenous people.

Further funding rounds for ranger positions will be held in 2013 and 2014 to allow new and emerging groups to build capacity and participate in this initiative.