In­dige­nous rangers boost un­der La­bor

Pilbara News - - News - Tom Zaun­mayr

In­dige­nous ranger em­ploy­ment would dou­ble by 2021 un­der La­bor through a $200 mil­lion in­vest­ment in the pro­gram should the party win the July 2 elec­tion.

Op­po­si­tion leader Bill Shorten said La­bor would aim to have 1550 in­dige­nous rangers work­ing on coun­try in the next five years.

Shadow in­dige­nous af­fairs min­ster Shayne Neu­mann said the ranger pro­gram pro­vided a path­way to a pro­fes­sion that im­proved health, in­come, 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,” he said.

“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 Wilder­ness So­ci­ety na­tional di­rec­tor Lyn­don Sch­nei­ders said the pro­gram was a clear suc­cess.

“The pro­gram de­liv­ers real and mean­ing­ful jobs in ar­eas that are of­ten sub­ject to ex­treme un­em­ploy­ment, the so­cial im­pacts are demon­stra­bly pos­i­tive and the en­vi­ron­ment is prop­erly man­aged by those who have deep in­sights and un­der­stand­ing into the needs of coun­try,” he said.

Pic­ture: Tom Zaun­mayr

Ngur­rawaana head ranger Kings­ley Wood­ley on the Port­land River.

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