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GOLDFIELDS AND DESERT INDIGENOUS RANGERS RECEIVE 7-YEAR COMMITMENT

Four Indigenous ranger services will receive a combined $25.9 million to invest in long-term programs over the next seven years to benefit Western Australia’s Goldfields and desert lands.

In the latest round of the Morrison Government’s Indigenous Ranger Program, Ngaanyatjarra Council will receive $13,641,699, Ngadju Conservation Aboriginal Corporation $5,547,341, Goldfields Land and Sea Council Aboriginal Corporation $2,231,112 and Pila Nguru Aboriginal Corporation $4,511,893 to fund their operations until 2028.

Federal Member for O’Connor Rick Wilson said the funding would provide job security and allow the four organisations to develop new activities so they can continue to care for country.

“Indigenous rangers are an integral part of our community, protecting and conserving country,” Mr Wilson said.

“These very substantial grants will allow the organisations to invest in career pathways, training pipelines, and develop deep relationships so the benefits spread out into the Goldfields and desert communities.

“It takes multiple skillsets and areas of expertise to successfully manage country across Australia’s diverse landscape and that’s why these four organisations have been selected, to ensure the Goldfields and desert lands continue to receive the care they need from the people who know the lands best.”

Mr Wilson said the $13,641,699 granted to Ngaanyatjarra Council would see four teams of Aboriginal rangers, consisting of the Blackstone, Warakurna and Warburton Men and Warburton Women Rangers, help meet the area’s environmental challenges.

“The Ngaanyatjarra Lands cover a total area of 25 million hectares and are larger than Tasmania,” he said.

“The high levels of biological diversity that exist on these lands are a direct result of traditional land management practices.

“The rangers will provide essential services including surveys and management of threatened species such as the black-footed rock-wallaby, great desert skink and bilby.

“Other activities will include fire management, cleaning and maintaining rock holes to provide water for native fauna, managing the impact of feral animals, supporting traditional ecological knowledge and cultural activities and continuing to develop tourist management strategies.”

Mr Wilson said the $5,547,341 provided to the Ngadju Conservation Aboriginal Corporation would assist the Ngadju Rangers to manage fire, weeds and feral animals, and protect cultural sites.

“The land to be managed surrounds the town of Norseman and includes a large part of the Great Western Woodlands that includes the largest tract of dry climate woodland on Earth,” he said.

“The rangers combine traditional land management practices with western science to preserve the area’s biodiversity and culture.”

Mr Wilson said the $2,231,112 provided to Goldfields Land and Sea Council Aboriginal Corporation would assist biodiversity monitoring and research, environmental surveys and clearances, feral animal control and weed management, site remediation and rehabilitation, fire and tourism management, traditional knowledge transfer and school and educational programs.

He said the $4,511,893 allocated to Pila Nguru Aboriginal Corporation would support the work of the Spinifex Land Management Rangers in protecting and managing environmental and cultural assets across 73,000 sqkm of the Spinifex and Pilki Native Title Determination areas in the Western Australian section of the Great Victorian Desert.

“Spinifex Rangers are based in the Tjuntjuntjara community and arrange community members to visit country and continue intergenerational knowledge transfer and cultural practices,” Mr Wilson added.

“The rangers are re-introducing traditional burning practices into the landscape, protecting important cultural landscape features, surveying and managing endangered flora and fauna, mentoring school children, and managing remote community safety infrastructure.”

The Hon Ken Wyatt AM MP, Minister for Indigenous Australians, explained that the funding is part of the more than $746 million Indigenous Rangers Program.

“The Morrison Government is delivering on its commitment to long-term funding for the Indigenous Ranger Program, with 80 organisations selected to continue caring for Australia’s natural and cultural landscape for the next seven years,” Minister Wyatt said.

“This commitment helps ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples maintain a distinctive cultural, spiritual, physical and economic relationship with their land and waters to the benefit of all Australians.

“In addition to protecting Australia’s environmental and heritage assets, caring for country generates economic opportunities and social and cultural benefits for Indigenous peoples that strengthen the wellbeing of communities and benefit Australia as a whole.”

Media contact:

Minister Wyatt’s Office:Jessica Guthrie, 0438 231 687

Rick Wilson MP: Chris Thomson, 0467 710 180

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MEET RICK

I was inspired to run for Parliament following my involvement in a decade-long campaign to deregulate the wheat industry, which brought about the end of the Australian Wheat Board’s monopoly.

“I stand proudly for the Liberal philosophy of free markets, vigorous competition, small government and individual responsibility. These are the principles that guide me in my life and in this place. My track record in public life shows clearly that I am prepared to stand up for those principles.”

“To the electors of O'Connor, I reiterate the commitment that I have made to work tirelessly on your behalf, to always be frank and honest about the challenges we face, and to work cooperatively and collaboratively to improve the lives of the people who live in the greatest part of the greatest nation on earth”

– Rick Wilson MP Maiden Speech.