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

The Hon. Warren Snowdon MP
Minister for Indigenous Health, Rural and Regional Health and Regional Services Delivery

Indigenous rangers protect red centre lands

Joint media release
10 June 2009

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More than 300,000 hectares of the Northern Territory's fragile arid environment will be protected in Australia's 29th Indigenous Protected Area, the Angas Downs IPA, opening the way to new training and job opportunities.

Angas Downs belongs to its traditional owners, Anangu, on the lands located some 160 kilometres from Uluru. It is managed by Anangu of the Imanpa community.

Environment Minister Peter Garrett said the declaration of the Indigenous Protected Area provides wide benefits to the Imanpa community.

“I am pleased that Australian Government funding has already created five-full-tive Working on Country ranger jobs on Angas Downs. The Indigenous rangers are doing jobs they value and are important role models in their community.

“By declaring their lands an IPA, the traditional owners open the way to further training and jobs in environment conservation and cultural protection - work which benefits all Australians.

“Indigenous communities tell us the IPAs also bring better health, education and social cohesion. They are an important part of Closing the Gap of Indigenous disadvantage.”

“I look forward to announcing further Caring for our Country funding for the Angas Downs IPA soon,” Mr Garrett said.

Member for Lingiari, Warren Snowdon, said the hot, arid sand plains of the Angas Downs IPA have plants and animals belonging to a bioregion with little formal protection until now.

“Rare birds such as the painted snipe make use of nationally-important wetlands, while animals like the vulnerable mulgara, the fawn hopping-mouse and thorny devil all find a home here.

“Angas Downs is also of great historical and cultural value with many Anangu spiritual sites including waterholes, engravings and ceremonial sites. The IPA will protect these for generations to come,” Mr Snowdon said.

Angas Downs Indigenous Protected Area will now become part of the National Reserve System - our nation's most secure way of protecting habitat for future generations. Indigenous Protected Areas across Australia protect more than 20 million hectares of habitat.

For more information visit www.environment.gov.au/indigenous/ipa/declared/angasdowns.html

Commonwealth of Australia