MR ENTSCH: It gives me great pleasure today to rise and speak about World Ranger Day.
World Ranger Day was held on Wednesday, 31 July and is an initiative of the Thin Green Line Foundation.
The Thin Green Line Foundation supports park rangers within Australia and overseas, including in conflict zones.
World Ranger Day is internationally recognised as a day to support rangers working on environmental restoration and education, and pays tribute to rangers who have lost their lives while at work.
My electorate of Leichhardt is home to numerous land and sea ranger groups.
Far North Queensland is home to many dedicated groups, many of whom are Indigenous, who combine traditional knowledge with conservation training to protect and manage land, sea and culture.
Rangers across Far North Queensland play a very important role in natural resource management, including fire management, restoring rivers, preserving threatened species and controlling feral animals.
I’d like to, if I could, make special reference to Gavin Singleton.
He’s one of the lead advocates in this area and is well and truly setting the standards for our regions.
He’s a leader within the Yirrganydji Land and Sea Ranger Program.
I’ve met with Gavin on many occasions, and the work that they’ve been doing thus far has just been absolutely fantastic.
However, they’ve now reached a point where they require assistance in meeting their sea governance obligations.
They can’t patrol the sea if they don’t have a vessel, and so the next stage for them is to secure an eight-metre vessel that will allow them to patrol these areas, which are very, very important, as well as managing the land.
This vessel will not only enable them to create sustainable jobs and better protect their cultural heritage but also manage the sea in relation to biosecurity and research.
They bring local knowledge and insights to their work, allowing them to protect and preserve our unique environment.
The Morrison government supports more than 2,900 Indigenous Australians to work in country through a variety of ranger projects creating employment, training and career pathways.
Across Far North Queensland, this program enabled the government to create 210 jobs in the 2016-17 financial year.
We have got rangers the length and breadth of my electorate, right up to the mainland of Papua New Guinea, which is on the Saibai, Boigu and Dauan area—and some of that’s within four kilometres of the mainland of Papua New Guinea.
So we have rangers extended right through those areas and, just focusing on my own electorate, from the Western Cape right down south of Cairns.
An Indigenous Protected Area is an area of land and sea that traditional owners voluntary dedicate to the National Reserve System and Indigenous protected lands make up about 46 per cent of the National Reserve System and cover more than 65 million hectares so it’s quite a significant land area.
Indigenous Protected Areas allow country to be managed according to the wishes of traditional owners who balance conservation and cultural considerations against opportunities for sustainable land use.
There are currently 75 Indigenous Protected Areas dedicated to the National Reserve System and a further 11 projects in the consultation phase with a view to dedication.
The Morrison government’s total investment in Indigenous rangers and Indigenous Protected Areas totals more than $830 million over 10 years to 2023. In my home state of Queensland, there’s been an investment of $61.8 million in Indigenous rangers and $12.1 million towards Indigenous Protected Areas.
This represents record investment compared to any previous government dating back to when the ranger program was first established when I was a member of the Howard government.
Finally, our rangers are passionate about their world and World Ranger Day is our chance to say thank you to all those who dedicate themselves to the care of our environment so that its splendour can be appreciated now and preserved for our future generations. Thank you.