The Indigenous Ranger program is a proven success. Rangers manage and protect Australia's unique environment. The program delivers significant benefits for people, country and the economy. The Greens will double funding for Indigenous Rangers, and provide certainty by shifting to 15 year contracts.
It's in all of our interests to keep country healthy. The Indigenous Rangers program is one of the most successful programs in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. The program provides unique environmental benefits, and also offers social, community and economic benefits. The Greens will:
- Double the funding for Indigenous Rangers by providing an extra $313 million between 2016-17 to 2019-20;
- Extend funding commitments to 15 year contracts, and
- Work towards a high-level target of 5,000 rangers.
Protecting the environment
Indigenous Rangers undertake valuable environmental work across Australia, often in remote locations, protecting iconic land and sea scapes.
Protecting endangered species. Over 70 per cent of ranger groups work on activities to protect threatened species across Australia. For example in Western Australia, Martu rangers are working to secure the survival of the black flanked rock wallaby.
Fighting invasive species. Many ranger groups are working to remove destructive invasive species, including feral animals and weeds. For example in the Northern Territory, rangers in the Warddeken Indigenous Protected Area are stopping feral animals from destroying habitats.
Fire management. Often using traditional fire management techniques, ranger groups across Australia use fire management to promote biodiversity.
Protecting coastlines. Ranger groups in coastal areas protect seascapes. Activities include sea patrols, monitoring biodiversity, and removing ghost nets. For example in Wunambul Gaambera Country, rangers monitor dugong and turtle populations.
Revegetation. Ranger groups contribute significantly to revegetation, helping restore natural landscapes. In Queensland, Jabalbina Rangers are restoring vegetation including Black Palm restoration.
Working on country across Australia
There are over 100 ranger groups employing around 1,600 rangers across Australia. Groups operate in all seven states and territories, with many in remote locations across northern Australia, in landscapes ranging from woodlands to desert and coastal areas. Ranger groups operate in around 60 per cent of Australia's Indigenous Protected Areas (IPAs; parts of the National Reserve System which are voluntarily dedicated by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples).
Helping close the gap
The Indigenous Rangers program has significant benefits for rangers, their families and broader communities.
- Employment opportunities
- Economic benefits
- Improved health outcomes for rangers
- Connecting with country and culture
- Individual and community benefits
- Benefits for the broader Australian community
Doubling our support
The Greens will double the funding for Indigenous Rangers by providing an extra $313 million between 2016-17 to 2019-20. Analysis shows that investment in ranger programs provides a social return. Extending funding commitments to 15 year contracts will provide funding certainty for programs that are currently not funded beyond 2018.