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$850,000 investment in Indigenous rangers for the Pilbara

The Coalition Government will provide the Yaburara and Coastal Mardudhunera Aboriginal Corporation with almost $850,000 to establish an ongoing Indigenous ranger team to work on Mardudhunera Country in the western Pilbara region of Western Australia.

The investment was announced by the Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, and the Member for Durack, Melissa Price, today.

Minister Scullion said the $846,980 investment would enable the Yaburara and Coastal Mardudhunera Aboriginal Corporation to employ 12 First Australians to work as rangers in the lower Fortescue River area.

“This funding will allow the corporation to continue the Marduthuni Ranger and Employment Programme which it has trialled since April 2016,” Minister Scullion said.

“Indigenous rangers form an important part of the Coalition Government’s commitment to provide more jobs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, while also managing and preserving important environmental assets.

“The Coalition has been a strong supporter of Indigenous rangers since it introduced funding for the programme in 2007 under the Howard Government. 

“Since 2013, the Government has increased funding to record levels – and funding for Indigenous rangers is now at $70 million per annum, an increase of 15 per cent over funding provided under the previous government.

“The Government’s funding commitment to Indigenous rangers now extends to more than $550 million over seven years through to June 2020.

“Through the Indigenous Advancement Strategy, the Government is providing significant investment in the Pilbara and I acknowledge the ongoing advocacy of Ms Price for her constituents.”

Mr Price said the investment provided valuable employment and training opportunities for local Aboriginal people. 

“The rangers will receive accredited training from the Northern Region TAFE and job placements so that they are work ready with on-the-job experience,” Ms Price said.

“The rangers will then partner with the state government and mining companies to work on natural resource management activities.

“Ranger programmes have been hugely successful, and work hand in hand with other land management organisations such as the National Landcare programs and the state Department of Parks and Wildlife. 

“We know that by providing jobs for rangers in the North West, we can guarantee long-term, well-paying jobs that allow Indigenous Australians to remain on country and lend traditional knowledge to conservation efforts.”

The Indigenous Rangers programme is funded through the Government’s Indigenous Advancement Strategy.

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