Northern Territory

Local decision making: Increasing powers for Aboriginal rangers

Consultation is underway with Aboriginal ranger groups on changes to the Territory Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act aimed at giving them greater powers to manage their land, including tackling issues like illegal hunting and illegal fires.

Minister for Tourism and Culture Lauren Moss released a discussion paper proposing amendments to the Act that would bolster the compliance and enforcement powers of Aboriginal rangers, supporting their work in protecting and managing their land.

“This is a key election commitment, aimed at specifically recognising the role of Aboriginal ranger groups in managing the Territory’s natural and cultural assets,” Ms Moss said.

“The capabilities of Aboriginal ranger groups in compliance management is already recognised at a national level, with rangers playing important roles in fisheries management, border security and quarantine protection.

“It’s time we properly recognised their important role in the Territory Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act and ensure they have the powers they need to protect country against illegal activity and other threats.

“Our environment and natural resources are among our greatest assets, supporting our lifestyle, key industries like tourism and of course many of our communities. They are also rich in cultural and spiritual meaning. We need to work together to ensure these assets are effectively managed and the role of our ranger groups properly recognised.

“Through consultation, we are seeking input and advice on current management issues, methods to address those issues, and the statutory powers and training rangers groups need to support their work and achieve good outcomes for their communities and their country.”

There are currently 46 established Ranger groups throughout the Territory, with approximately 1000 Aboriginal Rangers.

Source: NT Government