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

The Hon Jenny Macklin MP
Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

The Hon Warren Snowdon MP
Member for Lingiari

$15.7 million boost for Indigenous rangers

Joint media release
4 March 2009

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The Australian Government will provide $15.7 million over two years to support 22 Indigenous ranger groups, working on land and sea management activities in the Northern Territory.

The investment supports the development of ranger groups in a number of regions across the Top End including the Darwin/Daly, West Arnhem, East Arnhem, Katherine, Ngukurr, Victoria River and Borroloola/Barkly.

More than $9 million is committed through the Working on Country Northern Territory program delivered by the Department of the Environment, Water and Heritage tocreate over 61 new ranger jobs. The remaining funding of $6.5 million is provided by the Aboriginals Benefit Account.

The Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, said the joint funding initiatives demonstrate the Australian Government's commitment to improving employment opportunities among Indigenous Australians in the Northern Territory.

"In this time of economic downturn, the Australian Government is taking action to help ensure employment opportunities are made available to those who need them most," Ms Macklin said.

"This announcement will help make progress on the Government's aim of halving the employment gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians within a decade."

The funding also supports accommodation for seven ranger coordinators and storage for twenty-one chemical facilities, six vehicles and twenty quad bikes and spray units.

Minister for the Environment Peter Garrett said providing funding for employment, training and operational support for the project is crucial to ensuring the continued successful management of ecosystems including wetlands in the Northern Territory.

"The work undertaken by this project, including protecting species and heritage values and controlling pests, weeds and fire, is fundamental to sustainability of our country," Mr Garrett said.

"These projects contribute to the Government's goal to engage with Indigenous people to manage our land and seas and attain greater independence through employment."

The Member for Lingiari, Warren Snowdon, said land and sea rangers play an incredible valuable role in preserving country and culture.

"The rangers are great community role models. We are committed to assisting Indigenous rangers protect the Territory's pristine environment."

Commonwealth of Australia