Doubling the number of indigenous rangers to help Close the Gap

By Terri Butler MP

05 August 2021

Today the Closing the Gap report was tabled in this parliament. In a really terrific speech the Leader of the Opposition, Anthony Albanese, made a number of commitments to take real action for Closing the Gap. 

I wanted to mention a couple of actions in my shadow portfolio of environment that I am really pleased to see Labor has committed to. Firstly, the doubling of Indigenous rangers is an incredibly important commitment that Labor has made. It has been welcomed by the Country Needs People campaign, and I'm very pleased to see them welcoming that. More importantly, I'm sure it will have been welcomed by people across this country, because we know that Indigenous rangers do an incredible job caring for country and, as Anthony said this morning, healing country. We've also made a commitment to a significant increase in funding for Indigenous Protected Areas. These protected areas are key to conservation in this country; in fact, they already make up almost half of the National Reserve System. They will be so important to reaching the commitment that Australia has made as part of the High Ambition Coalition to reach 30 per cent protected areas on land and sea by 2030. It's a commitment that's been made, but now we need to actually deliver on it. It's not enough just to make announcements; this country needs to deliver. The third thing I wanted to mention is also highly significant: cultural water. Water entitlements are so important. Aboriginal people are underrepresented in water entitlements in the Murray-Darling basin and that needs to change. (Time expired)

The SPEAKER: It being 2 pm, the time for members' statements has concluded.