Rangers have been given a major boost with additional funding to help them preserve and protect the Torres Strait.
The Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, has announced $1.68 million for the Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA) over three years to create a new compliance management unit and support ongoing ranger compliance activities.
It will ensure that activities across the region comply with the rules, particularly in the area of fisheries, to make sure that the Torres Strait’s unique natural resources and environment can be protected.
The TSRA already supports 14 Indigenous ranger groups and this additional funding is part of the Coalition Government’s $30 million Capacity Building for Indigenous Rangers Strategy launched earlier this year to develop the skills and capabilities of rangers.
“As I have said before, our First Australians have to be front and center of work done on country.
“Our rangers already play a crucial supporting role in defending Australia from illegal fishing, biosecurity and border incursions,” Minister Scullion said.
Federal Member for Leichhardt, Warren Entsch, said that the Torres Strait region has long required intensive monitoring and surveillance due to compliance risks.
“This Federal Coalition investment will establish a specialist Compliance Management Unit and train up to 50 local Indigenous community rangers.
“It means an extra 50 pairs of highly trained ‘eyes and ears’ out there on the front lines protecting the nation on behalf of all Australians,” Mr Entsch said.
“This funding follows an enormously successful pilot Specialised Indigenous Ranger Program from 2014/15 – 2016/17.
“It will greatly enhance the links between the TSRA, Government and the community while supporting the essential work of our Rangers,” Mr Entsch said.