Emilie Ens and Alana Grech write in The Conversation (15.1.18) that Indigenous ranger programs have now been running successfully for a decade. Given Queensland's size and large Indigenous population, the authors suggest there's a strong case for expanding the program in this state.
'Indigenous ranger programs are a rare good news story of a government initiative that delivers outstanding social, economic, cultural and environmental outcomes. Now, new data have revealed that many Queenslanders would like to see these programs expanded.
'Recent polling shows that 80% of Queenslanders, including 70% of One Nation voters, support Indigenous land and sea management, while 88% of Queenslanders support a proposal to create 200 new ranger jobs over the next ten years.
'The 2017 Queensland budget pledged 25 new Indigenous ranger jobs over the next three years. That would bring the total number of state government-supported ranger positions to 101. As our research below shows, there should be much more support to bring Queensland Indigenous ranger numbers into line with other big states.
'Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities see these programs as a cornerstone of cultural maintenance and management of their ancestral estates. There is a strong case for the program to be dramatically expanded in Queensland and beyond.'