On World Ranger Day we honour and celebrate the invaluable contribution rangers make to preserving and protecting our natural assets.

The Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management, David Littleproud, Minister for Indigenous Australians, Ken Wyatt and Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley have paid tribute to the Indigenous rangers preserving our environment from the centre to the sea.

Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management, the Hon David Littleproud MP, said many Indigenous rangers are at the frontline of biosecurity, helping to protect Australia’s more than $60 billion agriculture industry.

“Indigenous Rangers are helping to stop biosecurity threats in their tracks, by undertaking a variety of activities including animal, plant and aquatic health surveillance, insect trapping/surveillance, plant host mapping, animal health reporting and biosecurity awareness.

“Through the Indigenous Ranger biosecurity program, we have increased the number of groups in Northern Australia undertaking biosecurity surveillance activities from 40 groups to 65, with more than $12.5 million invested since 2016 on delivering opportunities for fee for service activities, capability building initiatives and Indigenous biosecurity traineeships.

“In Northern Australia, Indigenous rangers are building and maintaining their ability to limit exotic pests, diseases and weeds entering our shores through unregulated pathways such as wind and tides.

“The Government is committed to finding more ways Indigenous rangers can contribute to the broader biosecurity and environmental efforts.”

Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP, said Indigenous rangers around the country work to protect land and sea country for the benefit of all Australians.

“Indigenous rangers are an important part of Australia’s conservation system,” Minister Wyatt said.

“They bring their knowledge and experience to a wide range of activities from natural resource management and preserving threatened species, environmental restoration and biosecurity surveillance.

“This includes cultural burning to mitigate bushfire risk and working with fire management agencies during fire seasons.

“Indigenous ranger programs also increase skills and offer economic and employment opportunities to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across Australia.

“In March, we announced continued funding of $102 million indexed each year to 2028. In addition we have recently funded four more Indigenous ranger groups on Esperance Nyungar and Yawuru Country (Kimberley) in Western Australia, and in Barkandji River Country (Menindee Lakes) and Wreck Bay in New South Wales.

“The Government is backing Indigenous rangers to continue their work so that future generations can enjoy the benefits of our land.”

Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley said that Indigenous rangers play an outstanding role National Park Management across Kakadu, Uluru-Kata Tjuta and Booderee, as well as working across Commonwealth parks and gardens, Marine Parks and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.

“Utilising traditional knowledge to care for country in these significant protected environments, they lead a variety of important practices from rewilding projects to scientific projects, rock art monitoring, cultural burning, marine compliance and reef management,” Minister Ley said.

“I’m immensely proud of the work our Indigenous rangers do, often in challenging environments, to take care of our culture, our environment, and the thousands who visit our beautiful parks every year.”

To see some of the biosecurity activities Indigenous Rangers do through fee for service arrangements, check out the video Country Handle with Care – Rangers (Episode 5).

Acknowledgement: reproduced from a joint media release the Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management, and the Minister for the Environment.