A Shorten Labor Government will double the number of Indigenous rangers employed under the Working on Country Indigenous Ranger Program, boosting jobs and environmental stewardship in remote areas.
The Working on Country program was established in 2007 and currently employs 775 Indigenous people in communities across Australia.
Thanks to further Labor support announced today, that number will double to 1550 Indigenous rangers by 2020-21.
This is a program that is working - which is why Labor is expanding it.
Indigenous rangers are role models in their communities, with the program providing a pathway to work and a profession that has been shown to improve Indigenous health, incomes, crime rates and incarceration rates.
This is an excellent program that provides training, a career path and good jobs in some of the most remote and disadvantaged Indigenous communities in Australia and it deserves more support.
Indigenous rangers perform many activities to support environmental and cultural conservation. Activities include the management of cultural sites, tourism facilities, fire regimes, biodiversity, feral animals, weeds, pollution and climate change impacts.
The program also provides significant social, health, and economic benefits. Some 34 per cent of Indigenous rangers are women, providing a real avenue for empowerment for women in remote communities.
Bill Shorten will travel to the remote community of Maningrida today in West Arnhem Land to witness first-hand the positive impact of the Indigenous ranger program. Rangers in Maningrida engage in highly effective weed control, fire control and crocodile management programs, helping to conserve one of the most valuable environmental sites in Australia.
Today’s pledge, worth $200 million over five years, is an investment not just in environmental management of our land but in the future of its custodians.
It follows Labor’s investment in a landmark preventive health program for Indigenous Australians and a commitment to expand the Michael Long Learning and Leadership Centre for young Territorians.
This is how we can close the gap: one meaningful, practical step at a time.
For more information on Labor’s commitment to expand the Indigenous Ranger Program please visit: http://www.100positivepolicies.org.au/indigenous_rangers_fact_sheet
FRIDAY, 27 MAY 2016