• Ngurrara ranger Karlas Shandley teaches Elijah Murray, the next generation, how to monitor the health of valuable fresh water in the Great Sandy Desert. (Kimberly Land Council, Country Needs People Facebook)Source: Kimberly Land Council, Country Needs People Facebook
In a move that highlights increasing recognition for the role Aboriginal land management plays in protecting endangered species and eco-systems, the government has boosted funding for Indigenous rangers.
17 May 2017 - 6:06 PM  UPDATED 17 May 2017 - 6:08 PM

More Indigenous rangers will be protecting Australia's coastlines and bushlands with $30 million in federal funding for training to boost jobs in remote communities.

Minister for Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion announced the investment while visiting the Dhimurru Rangers group at Nhulunbuy, in Arnhem Land, on Wednesday.

The four-year strategy will help rangers build their technical skills to take up work in compliance, and land and sea management.

Indigenous rangers in the Kimberley are helping save the bilbies
The bilby is one of the most critically endangered native animals in Australia their numbers have dramatically reduced since European settlement now the finally refuge of the small marsupial is in the Kimberley of Western Australia where the Indigenous Rangers are taking on the responsibility of protecting the bilby.

"First Australians must be front and centre of work done on country," Senator Scullion said.

The Turnbull government currently employs more than 2600 Aboriginal Australians nationally in conservation and sacred site work, as well as preventing wildfires and the proliferation of feral animals and weeds.

Many ranger groups are already involved in joint operations and government surveillance contracts, and can now also take advantage of new opportunities around biosecurity and border protection.

The scheme will focus on youngsters to provide career pathways and develop the next generation of indigenous rangers in consultation with local stakeholders.

Trainers will provide culturally competent, tailored mentoring in the field, Senator Scullion said.

"The coalition has been absolutely committed to indigenous rangers ever since it started the program in 2006 and is now delivering record funding," he said.

The $30 million Capacity Building for Indigenous Rangers strategy is additional funding from the Indigenous Advancement Strategy that builds on the government's $350 million commitment to indigenous rangers since 2013.

The federal budget committed $15 million to new Indigenous Protected Areas and ongoing funding for the program for five years.

It also announced $55.7 million over five years to help improve the job prospects of indigenous Australians across the country.

AAP