Statement, Indigenous employment, Wiluna, Martu Rangers
October 20, 2014
with the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, Alan Tudge, we recently
travelled to the remote town of Wiluna and then drove the 50 kilometres to the
Jundee goldmine. Here, the Martu Rangers, part of the Central Desert Native
Title Services, under the stewardship of Rob Thomas, provide conservation
services, including weed spraying, flora and fauna surveys, environmental
monitoring, assessment and measurement on the rehabilitated sites of Northern
Star Resources' goldmine.
With 191 days
of labour service provided in 2013, Northern Star is expanding the ranger program
in 2014. These Indigenous Martu Rangers are engaged on a fee-for-service basis,
working alongside environmental officers.
On our visit,
there were three rangers at work, from a pool of seven, all of whom live in the
town of Wiluna. Depending on other commitments—such as cultural, law or family
business—each ranger generally chooses to work at the mine for one or two
weekly rotations per month. It is good work and it is flexible. There is good
food and lodgings and respect, and they are learning, and earning a salary.
this outstanding program, which has given Aboriginal people a valuable
opportunity to work on-country and to learn skills that are relevant and
transferable, for the betterment of the environment for us all. I wish the
Martu Ranger team well in the Indigenous Governance Awards, which are next week
and will be presented by the Prime Minister.