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NT Aboriginal ranger projects receive $6 million to continue protection of land and sea country 

Callan Morse -

Thirty-eight new Aboriginal ranger projects have received almost $6 million in funding to Country across the Northern Territory.

The record funding, made available through the Northern Territory's Aboriginal Ranger Grants Program, has been awarded to various ranger groups to support ranger bases to go green, to promote gender equity, and protect the Territory's land and sea Country.

The successful round seven applicants include a range of important land and sea management projects.

They include SEAL Sea Country IPA Seagrass surveys and development of a ranger-led monitoring program, funding for the Strong Women for Healthy Country Mentorship Support,

and support for the Yanyuwa people, with assistance of the Li-Anthawirriyarra Sea Rangers and the Mabunji Aboriginal Resource Indigenous Corporation, to development a Sea Country Management Plan.

Multiple infrastructure projects were also supported by the grants program. They include the purchase of two side-by-side vehicles by Arafura Swamp Rangers to support their care for more than 1.4 million hectares of land and sea country, the purchase of a compact track loader and trailer by Anindilyakwa Land & Sea Rangers to enable proactive track maintenance, enabling year-round access to 14 public recreational areas, and the purchase of an additional vessel by Kenbi Rangers to monitor sea turtle conservation and manage cultural sites.

Northern Territory Minister for Parks and Rangers and proud Nunggubuyu woman, Selina Uibo said the Northern Territory government has a "clear agenda" to continue assisting Aboriginal rangers in the Territory

"Vast areas of the Northern Territory are cared for by Aboriginal Rangers and the Territory Labor Government has a clear agenda to support this excellent work," Minister Uibo said.

"Working on country achieves great outcomes for the environment, as well as employment, social, education, health and economic development outcomes for Aboriginal Territorians especially in our remote communities.

"This program builds strong Aboriginal leadership and organisational governance, and these grants will see these opportunities and jobs grow."

The Northern Territory Government will continue to work in partnership with the Ichthys LNG Coastal Offset Strategy program, which focusses on the conservation management of dugongs, cetaceans and threatened marine matters of national environmental significance in the Top End.

In congratulating recipient organisations in their ongoing care for Country, INPEX General Manager NT, Stuart Knowles, said the collaboration between INPEX and the Northern Territory government continues to deliver positive outcomes for the management of the Territory's coastline.

"For over three years our team at INPEX has been collaborating with the NT Department of Environment, Parks and Water Security to support the Aboriginal Ranger Grants Program, which has proven to be an excellent framework to deliver the Ichthys Joint Venture's $24 million coastal management offset program," Mr Knowles said.

"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 life span 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."

The last six rounds of the Aboriginal Ranger Grants Program have provided $15.7 million to support activities of ranger groups across the Territory.

An independent review of the outcomes of the program, conducted by Ninti One in 2021, found the program has made a considerable and profound contribution to land management across the Northern Territory.

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