A Shorten Labor Government will commit $200 million over 5 years to double the number of Indigenous rangers under the Working on Country program, from 775 in 2016-17 to 1550 in 2020-21.
This is an excellent program that builds on the strong link between Indigenous Australians and the land to improve environmental and cultural conservation and to improve the lives of Indigenous Australians.
Rangers undertake valuable work in endangered species protection, fire management, cultural site management, feral animal control, weed control, environmental monitoring, pollution and climate change impact management and tourism management. But this program is about more than environmental and cultural conservation work.
Indigenous rangers are role models in their communities, providing a pathway from welfare to work that has been shown to improve Indigenous health, incomes, crime rates and incarceration rates. It is a program that provides training and real, good jobs in some of the most remote and disadvantaged Indigenous communities in Australia.
Labor is proud of its environmental record and we are proud of our record in tackling Indigenous disadvantage. Our commitment to double the size of the Indigenous Ranger Program continues our record in both areas.