Wednesday, April 24, 2024

$6m boost for Aboriginal rangers in NT

The Northern Territory Government, in partnership with the INPEX-led Ichthys Joint Venture, has announced a $6 million funding pool to boost the efforts of Aboriginal rangers.

The funding makes up Round 7 of the Aboriginal Ranger Grants Program, which opens for applications on 31 July.

“Our Aboriginal Ranger groups provide a crucial frontline service across the Northern Territory, and deliver exceptional on country outcomes to protect and manage Aboriginal land and waters,” said Minister for Parks and Rangers, Nicole Manison.

She said the NT Government had committed to continuing to invest in Aboriginal Rangers through an extension of the Aboriginal Ranger Grant Program until 2025, with nearly $12 million for capital grants and funding for land and sea management projects.

“Aboriginal Ranger groups provide jobs on country and creates strong leadership within communities, and I’m excited to see these opportunities grow, with record funding available in Round 7,” said Ms Manison.

$4.5 million of the funding comes from the Territory Labor Government’s Protecting Country, Creating Jobs commitment, established in 2017 to address under-resourcing of Ranger groups, while $1.5 million will come from the Ichthys Offset program, to support outcomes related to species listed in their Coastal Offset Strategy – including dugong, dolphins, whales, marine turtles, and seabirds, and their habitats.

The previous six rounds of the Land Management and Conservation Fund (now Land and Sea Management Fund) have delivered or committed more than $10 million to 28 Ranger groups across the Territory.

An independent review in 2021, by Ninti One found the Aboriginal Ranger Grants program had made a considerable and profound contribution to land management across the Northern Territory, with substantial outcomes and financial benefits achieved.

“For the past three years, our INPEX team has collaborated with the Territory Government in relation to the Aboriginal Ranger Grants Program, which has proven to be an excellent framework to deliver the Ichthys Joint Venture’s coastal management offset program,” said INPEX General Manager Northern Territory, Stuart Knowles.

“We are very proud to support this $24 million initiative for conservation management of turtles, dugongs, cetaceans and matters of environmental significance in the Top End.

“This program funding is part of a much bigger voluntary commitment by Ichthys LNG which includes $91 million of environmental and social offsets over the anticipated 40-year lifespan of our energy development.

“Not only does this program deliver environmental benefits, it also provides opportunities for Aboriginal rangers to work on Country, supporting broader social and economic outcomes for Territorians,” he said.

Information on how to apply can be found here: Aboriginal Ranger Grants Program | Department of Environment, Parks and Water Security.

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