22 Indigenous ranger groups across Australia’s north will receive a share of $1.1 million in grant funding to build biosecurity capacity and capability.
Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia, David Littleproud said the Morrison-Joyce Government’s Ranger Capability Building Program grants will go towards building better capacity among Indigenous rangers to continue their vital biosecurity work.
“Northern Australia is on the frontline of Australia’s biosecurity and Indigenous rangers play an essential role as our ‘eyes and ears’ in the north. Sensible measures and resources in the north go a long way to protect the entire country,” Minister Littleproud said.
“The grants will help ensure rangers have the right equipment to do their work, and that they can leverage emerging technologies like underwater drones and thermal cameras to enhance their capability to conduct biosecurity surveillance in remote areas.
“Rangers will get access to training to build their capability and help keep them safe such as remote four-wheel driving training, first aid and drone training, and to essential equipment such as iPads, cameras, laptops and GPS units for recording and transmitting biosecurity data on Country.
“Funding has also been awarded for exchange programs, giving rangers the opportunity to build on best practice and to share what they know.
“We are working in partnership with Indigenous rangers to protect our country and our industries from exotic pests and diseases. I’m very proud to support these grants to build rangers’ capability so that they can continue to play this important role on Australia’s biosecurity frontline.”
Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM MP, said the grants complemented the Morrison-Joyce Government’s long-term commitment to Indigenous rangers.
“The Ranger Capability Building Program is a welcome addition to broader ranger funding, following our commitment in July to fund the Indigenous Rangers Program for another seven years,” Minister Wyatt said.
“The Indigenous Rangers Program is one of the most successful programs to employ Indigenous Australians to manage land and sea Country.
“Our Rangers are the some of the most qualified people to provide commercial services such as biosecurity protection, continuing to preserve and share their knowledge of Country for the benefit of all Australians.”
Round 2 is anticipated to open in the second half of 2022.
For more details on the 22 successful round 1 Indigenous Ranger groups visit the Ranger Capability Building Program website.