Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

The Hon Tony Burke MP

Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities

Government supports the work of indigenous rangers

Media release
26 April 2013

The Australian Government today reaffirmed its commitment to the network of indigenous rangers by supporting the important program for a further five years.

Environment Minister Tony Burke today announced continued support for the 680 Indigenous Rangers working across Australia, and a commitment to fund 730 Indigenous ranger positions by June 2015. 

Over the next five years more than $320 million will provide job certainty for the Working on Country Indigenous rangers to build on the important environmental work already being done to help protect and conserve the environment and strengthen land and sea management.

This has been fully costed with funding from existing programs.

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

“Since coming to Government we have increased the number of indigenous rangers from 100 to 680 and we are on track to reach the target of 730 rangers by June 2015.

"I have spent a lot of time with these rangers in places like Cape York, the Kimberley, Uluru and in the Coorong in South Australia and I am personally and passionately committed to the work they do.

"These rangers are doing some of the toughest and most impressive work I have seen by managing vast areas of some of Australia's most precious land, coast and sea country, in all weather conditions.

“Their efforts are delivering valuable environmental improvements, as well as social benefits to the community.”

Indigenous rangers are involved in a range of conservation work across Australia including protecting our internationally significant world heritage areas and wetlands, tackling threats to our wildlife caused by feral animals and marine debris, managing threatened species such as the Flatback Turtle, Olive Ridley Turtle, Greater Bilby, Black-footed Rock-wallaby and the Gouldian Finch, and looking after significant cultural sites.

Indigenous rangers are also important role models in their communities. The Working on Country program helps connect young people to old and supports the continuity of knowledge and culture. 

Further information on the Working on Country program is available at www.environment.gov.au/indigenous/workingoncountry