Local Indigenous Land and Sea Ranger Program Expands

FIFTY new Indigenous Land and Sea Rangers will be employed in 2021 to help protect Queensland’s natural and cultural landscapes.

MEDIA RELEASE / Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef and Minister for Science and Youth Affairs, The Honourable Meaghan Scanlon

The Palaszczuk Government is providing the first instalment for a total of 100 new Indigenous ranger jobs. This will be funded over the next three years, doubling the number of Land and Sea Rangers in the program to 200.

Jabalbina Rangers. Image Credit/ Jabalbina

Through the Queensland Indigenous Land and Sea Ranger Program, the Queensland Government partners with First Nations communities to care for land and sea country, provide jobs and training and engage future generations.
Indigenous Land and Sea Ranger groups work to conserve Queensland’s important ecosystems and cultural heritage on country. Locations stretch from Cape York to the Bunya Mountains.
The program provides training, networking and partnership support for ranger groups.
Indigenous Land and Sea rangers deliver negotiated work plans that reflect Traditional Owner, local community, and Queensland Government priorities.

Activities include a wide range of conservation services including:

  • cultural burns
  • feral animal and pest plant control
  • soil conservation
  • cultural heritage site protection,
  • and biodiversity monitoring

Community engagement activities include:

  • Junior Ranger programs
  • support for disaster recovery,
  • and local community events

Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon said the $24 million funding boost for the Queensland Indigenous Land and Sea Ranger Program provides opportunity for First Nation organisations to manage their country and facilitate the exchange of knowledge and expertise with other land managers.

We’re doubling the number of Indigenous Land and Sea rangers, to build on the fabulous job of caring for country that 100 rangers are already doing in 24 regional communities across Queensland. By increasing Indigenous ranger numbers to 200 over the next three years, we’re delivering jobs and supporting the critical role of First Nations people in co-stewarding Queensland’s environment and cultural heritage.

Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef and Minister for Science and Youth Affairs, The Honourable Meaghan Scanlon

Through the Queensland Indigenous Land and Sea Ranger Program, First Nations organisations are provided with grants and support to establish ranger teams.
Ms Scanlon said the program delivered multiple benefits for First Nations communities and for the conservation of some of Queensland’s most valuable landscapes.

The Indigenous land and sea rangers contribute to the protection of Queensland’s ecosystems and cultural heritage…
The program also provides jobs and promotes economic opportunities associated with land and sea management.
Ranger teams carry out habitat restoration, feral animal and weed control, fire management and drive community engagement such as Junior Ranger programs.

Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef and Minister for Science and Youth Affairs, The Honourable Meaghan Scanlon

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Councils and Corporations, and incorporated organisations working with Traditional Owners can apply for funding to employ new rangers.

Organisations will need to demonstrate support from Traditional Owners, and to explain the environmental and cultural outcomes which the rangers would deliver.
Applications for the first round of 50 new positions close on 31 March 2021.

For more information, including the guideline and application form, visit: https://www.qld.gov.au/…/land-sea-rangers/about-rangers

The local Land and Sea Ranger Program is managed by Jabalbina Yalanji Aboriginal Corporation. The Eastern Kuku Yalanji (EKY) rangers manage land and sea Country of the EKY Indigenous Protected Area (IPA) around Wujal Wujal, Mossman, and Shipton’s Flat.

Key activities include:

  • Recording, protection and maintenance of cultural heritage sites, particularly burial sites, through weed management and removal of overgrown vegetation
  • Implementation of the Jabalbina Fire Management Plan, in collaboration with Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) and Queensland Rural Fires, on the IPA and national parks across the Daintree area of the Wet Tropics
  • Engaging with Elders and Traditional Owners on Country to obtain input into ranger activities and record traditional knowledge
  • Erosion management on tracks, to ensure access to country
  • Priority weed management in partnership with QPWS, Southern Cape York Catchments, the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and Cook Shire Council
  • Sea Country management, including supporting a Traditional Owner Steering Committee to oversee the Sea Country Management Plan