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The Hon Peter Garrett AM MP
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts

$26.76 million boost to Indigenous ranger work

Media release
14 October 2008

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Environment Minister Peter Garrett today announced $26.76 million to help Indigenous rangers fight the loss of biodiversity in remote Australia.

The package under the Caring for our Country initiative includes:

"From the red deserts of the Kimberley to the coastal shrublands of the Great Australian Bight, Australia's Indigenous rangers are on the environmental front line," Mr Garrett said.

"Today's funding will help Indigenous people fight biodiversity loss in some of Australia's most fragile environments - protecting turtles from deadly ghost nets, fighting weeds and wildfire and controlling feral animals.

"A huge proportion of Australia's habitat is on Indigenous owned land and much of it is incredibly remote, so we rely on the dedication and skills of Indigenous people to conserve it for all Australians.

"As we face threats from climate change our environment needs its Indigenous rangers more than ever and the Rudd Government is determined to help.

"Their important work not only benefits all Australians but it also delivers real jobs to Indigenous communities with spin-offs in health, education and social cohesion."

Mr Garrett said the $26 million package helps fulfil the Rudd Government's commitment to create an environmental rescue force of 300 Indigenous rangers and triple funding for IPAs.

Today's investment in IPAs will expand the work of existing IPAs and help develop up to 35 new ones.

Mr Garrett said Working on Country and IPAs complement each other, with two of today's Working on Country projects taking place on IPAs.

"The eight projects funded through Working on Country are now gearing up across Queensland, South Australia and the Torres Strait," Mr Garrett said.

"These projects will put up to 44 extra Indigenous rangers on the ground, caring for habitat, monitoring marine life and fighting invasive species."

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Commonwealth of Australia