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Speech on the Indigenous Land and Sea Ranger Program

February 24, 2021

Hon. MAJ SCANLON (Gaven—ALP) ((Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef and Minister for Science and Youth Affairs) (10.08 am): It gives me great pleasure to update the House on the highly successful Queensland Indigenous Land and Sea Ranger program. To begin, I want to acknowledge the First Nation peoples, communities and organisations, who advocated over many decades for this program that was first established in 2007. Mr Speaker, as you say each morning, we are very lucky to live in a country where we have two of the oldest continuing living cultures in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and we can all benefit from listening and learning from those whose lands, winds and waters we all now share. I want to particularly acknowledge the former minister for environment and science, who championed this initiative and secured additional funding. I know that this is a program that is incredibly close to her heart.

This program has grown and delivered important environmental and economic results for the benefit of all Queenslanders. I am very pleased to be a part of a government that is increasing the Indigenous ranger numbers to 200 over the next three years. That is double the current program. That means new jobs while supporting the critical role of First Nation people in Queensland’s environment
and cultural heritage.

Rangers work tirelessly across important initiatives from conservation efforts to protect species like the marine turtle, the dugong, the migratory shorebird and the golden-shouldered parrot; biodiversity studies; weed and pest management; cultural site protection; and youth engagement with on-country camps, on-job traineeships and visits to local schools.

Today, I am very pleased to announce that we are opening applications for the first round of 50 new rangers. That is 50 new jobs to be delivered this year. I encourage all members to engage with their local communities to bring forward applications. Of course, more information on how to apply, including the guidelines and application forms, is available on the Department of Environment and Science’s website. I look forward to updating the House further on this important initiative.