Queensland welcomes 46 additional rangers to cultural land and sea management across the state
Cultural care of land and sea has been strengthened in Queensland with 46 additional Indigenous ranger positions filled this week.
The state's government committed the expansion of ranger programs in 2020 with 154 individuals employed for fire management, biodiversity surveys, marine debris removal from beaches and estuaries, feral animal control, weed treatment and management of cultural sites among other roles combining traditional knowledge with new technologies.
The Government has committed approximately $27 in funding towards program annually.
The new positions are shared between 15 Traditional Owner organisations across the state with necessary training available.
In the past 12 months, Indigenous land and sea rangers have carried out fire management over more than 665,000 hectares of land, completed close to 1000 biodiversity surveys, removed more than 9,000 kilograms of marine debris from foreshores around the state and recorded and monitored 570 culturally significant sites.
Wakka Wakka Native Title Aboriginal Corporation chair, Gary Cobbo, said additional rangers brings a lot to the community.
"Working with the Bunya People's Aboriginal Corporation, as an auspice, will lead to an increased capacity for our community in caring for country across the Wakka Wakka estate," Mr Cobbo said.
"The new ranger team will be based out of Murgon and play a key role in strengthening connections across the many tribal groups in the South Burnett region.
"A real focus will be 'rightfire' or cultural burning, to reduce invasive weeds and restore native vegetation.
"Funding for this new ranger team will be of significant benefit to the Wakka Wakka community."
Environment Minister, Leanne Linard, said the partnership supports cooperative care for country.
"Who better to care for Country - managing native wetlands, bushlands, coastal areas and estuaries across Queensland - than the people who have been caring for it for the past 60,000 years," she said.
"The Indigenous Land and Sea Ranger program is not just an investment in jobs and our environment, it's also an investment in rebuilding Indigenous knowledge and empowering Queensland's Traditional Owners to care for country.
"These rangers are also playing a key role in their communities."
As part of the initiative, nine Traditional Owner organisations received their first allocation of rangers whilst six Traditional Owner organisations receiving funding to add rangers to existing teams.