The Environment Minister, Peter Garrett, Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin, and Janelle Saffin the Federal Member for Page, have announced funding to employ up to eight Githabul rangers in Kyogle over the next four years.

The funding is a part of the further $46 million to employ Indigenous rangers to work on country across Australia.

“I am pleased to announce through Working on Country, funding of $698,000 for the Githabul rangers project in its first year. This project will enable Indigenous people to transition from CDEP into full-time employment in natural resource management, and just as importantly, to remain on their country,” Ms Saffin said.

The Githabul rangers’ work will cover some 110,000 hectares across national and state parks, which includes a part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area. Initially, they will commence work to address weeds of national significance, revegetation and rehabilitation activities.

“The Githabul rangers’ work in this area is vital as weeds have a huge negative impact on our environment, reducing habitat quality for native animals, blocking access to rivers, wetlands and cultural sites,” Ms Saffin said.

“There is much environmental work that needs to be undertaken to protect and conserve our environment. The rangers will be working on recovery plans of threatened plant and animal populations and a network of waterways to sustain a diversity of plants and animals in our region.”

The Githabul ranger project is one of 20 new Working on Country projects that will employ 115 Indigenous rangers to manage land and sea country across Australia.

Over the next four years, the Australian Government will invest $46 million in these new Working on Country projects, which will be delivered in partnership with Indigenous communities and other land management organisations.

“Working on Country is an important element of the Australian Government’s Closing the Gap National Jobs Creation package,” said Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin.

“These 115 new Indigenous ranger jobs are in addition to the 300 Indigenous ranger jobs created in regional and remote Australia. Working on Country is one of the fundamental building blocks in place so Indigenous people can have access to the same choices and opportunities as other Australians.”

Environment Minister Peter Garrett said: “Working on Country draws on the significant skills and knowledge that Indigenous people bring to land management. When traditional methods and contemporary practices are used hand in hand, you get the best results for the environment.

“These projects create economic opportunities not only for Indigenous people and their communities; they also contribute to our regional economies and the conservation of our environment for future generations.”