Northern Territory Aboriginal Ranger Grants Program boosted by $24 Million from INPEX

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The Northern Territory Government’s Aboriginal Ranger Grants Program will receive an additional $24 million in sponsorship from INPEX as part of a new agreement between the Territory Government and the company. The funding, which will be delivered over two decades, has been made possible through the INPEX’s Coastal Offsets Strategy.

Listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, INPEX – one of the world’s energy production corporations producing and delivering natural gas for the Asia-Oceanic region – currently conducts business in more than 20 countries.  One of their most significant operations is Ichthys LNG in Northern Australia. INPEX plan to continue their focus and activities in priority exploration areas including the offshore Browse, Canning and Bonaparte basins and the onshore Beetaloo Basin.

The newly amended Coastal Offsets Program will help Aboriginal Rangers and sea managers deliver a program for the conservation management of dugongs, cetaceans and threatened marine matters of national environmental significance in the Top End.

INPEX General Manager Northern Territory, Roland Houareau notes “Aboriginal Rangers play a critical role in the management and protection of many beautiful and pristine land and sea environments in the NT.

“Together with the NT Department of Environment, Parks and Water Security, we have identified the ARGP as a strong framework to deliver our latest environmental offset program – a new $24 million initiative for conservation management of dugongs, cetaceans and threatened marine matters of national environmental significance in the Top End.

“The funding is also part of a much bigger commitment by INPEX that includes $91 million of offsets over the 40-year life of Ichthys LNG.”

As a start, $7.25 million has been committed over the next four years, with latter annual funding determined by project outcomes.

The grants program continues to support around 1,000 Rangers from 47 Ranger groups deliver land and sea management and conservation outcomes on Aboriginal land and ensures ongoing access to resources to protect our pristine environments and wildlife.

Under the program, two types of grants are available through a competitive, merit-based system. These include:

Capital funding – which has helped Rangers purchase vehicles and trailers, boats, fire and weed spray units, heavy equipment, information technology and communication systems and infrastructure.

Conservation Land Management funding – which has provided Rangers with assistance for activities including feral animal management, fire and weed management, protection of threatened and ‘iconic’ species, cultural management, and training and skills development.

Last month, the Northern Territory Government delivered on its election commitment of investing almost $12 million in the program over the next four years.

An independent review of the grants program outcomes by Ninti One (manage projects that create economic opportunity, improve service delivery and boost the livelihoods of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people) found that the Territory grants program “has made a considerable and profound contribution to land management across the Northern Territory”.

Northern Territory Minister for Parks and Rangers, Selena Uibo notes “from the ocean to the bush, our Aboriginal Rangers do such an important job protecting our unique environments, ensuring they can be enjoyed by generations to come.

“I am delighted that INPEX is partnering with Government to add more value to the work of this remarkable group of Territorians.

“Their multi-million, two-decade commitment is a standout example of corporate investment in the public good.”

Larrakia Rangers added “Larrakia Rangers are very happy that the funding opportunities are to continue. They have been a real game changer for us in the past as we have submitted successful applications for new vessel and vehicle and it has also funded further research on shellfish, mud crabs and climate collaboration with CSIRO.

“These new assets have enabled us to seek further commercial opportunities to self-fund our ranger group.”

The next round of grants will open on 24th July, and close on 20th August.

For more information, please visit: depws.nt.gov.au/programs-and-strategies/aboriginal-ranger-grants-program.

Image: The Northern Territory Government’s Aboriginal Ranger Grants program provides support to Aboriginal Ranger groups to undertake conservation and land management on their country. 

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