Joint media release: Investing in our First Nations communities

8 September 2020

Four new Indigenous Ranger Groups to care for country across the Murray-Darling Basin have been announced in the Murray–Darling Communities Investment Package.

Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australian, Keith Pitt, and Minister for Indigenous Australia, Ken Wyatt, said it was important that First Nation’s knowledge was used in managing water resources.

“There are more than 40 Aboriginal nations that call the Murray–Darling Basin home,” Minister Pitt said.

“And the Basin has been their food bowl for tens of thousands of years.

“Now it’s important to all of us because of the communities, industries and environments it sustains.  

“The Independent panel’s Assessment of social and economic conditions in the Basin called for a greater role for First Nations people in water management.

“Today’s announcement of four new Indigenous River Ranger Groups is an important step in that direction.

“It builds on the $40 million Aboriginal entitlements program and our commitment to appoint an Indigenous board member to the Murray–Darling Basin Authority.

“Importantly, the Murray–Darling Basin Economic Development Program is also open to First Nation’s organisations.”

Minister Wyatt said the Indigenous River Rangers would use their knowledge and connection to country to manage and restore rivers and wetlands.

“This is a win-win because it is about incorporating Indigenous knowledge into our business-as-usual when it comes to caring for our environment.

“It also provides meaningful jobs in rural and remote areas for Indigenous Australians.”

For more information about the Murray – Darling Communities Investment Package visit the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment’s website.