Hervey Bay is home to the new Butchulla Land and Sea Ranger base, marking a significant milestone in the establishment of the new team.
Minister for Environment Leeanne Enoch officially opened the base today and announced that four new rangers had already started working across Butchulla country including K'gari (Fraser Island), the Great Sandy Strait, and Fraser Coast Regional Council and Gympie Regional Council areas.
“The new base means the Butchulla rangers will be able to work more effectively on country, delivering better cultural and environmental outcomes,” Minister Enoch said.
“The Land and Sea Rangers work closely with Queensland Parks and Wildlife Services and other groups to rehabilitate land and water systems and restore natural landscapes, implement programs to control weeds and pests and help manage marine conservation and habitats.”
In April this year Minister Enoch announced funding for 22 new ranger positions across seven communities, including K’gari, taking the Palaszczuk Governments investment in this vital program to $12 million per year.
The Queensland Indigenous Land and Sea Ranger Program is important to local Indigenous communities and generates significant cultural outcomes.
“The program delivers better access to country for rangers, helps protect cultural sites and builds on the continued connection to country for the Butchulla People,” Ms Enoch said.
“The Butchulla Land and Sea Rangers have already begun work protecting and managing cultural heritage values on country, including burial sites, artefact sites, and sacred areas.
“They also assist other Traditional Owners in natural resource management, and participate in boat patrols, marine conservation and habitat management including, cleaning up shorelines and maintaining healthy waterways and sea grass.”
Christine Royan Secretary of the Butchulla Aboriginal Corporation said the four ranger positions being based out of Hervey Bay is the start of ‘closing the gap’ in their community and assists the Butchulla Aboriginal Corporation in achieving its objectives.
“I’m incredibly proud to be a part of this moment in time for our people, we’re thankful for the Land and Sea Ranger program to assist Butchulla to manage traditional country, preserve history and revitalise culture,” Ms Royan said.
“It is indeed our honour today to have the Minister officially open our ranger base here in Hervey Bay.”
Ms Enoch said this program allows the Government to partner with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to care for country and provides job and training opportunities.
“The Palaszczuk Government will continue to support the Butchulla people’s desire to manage their own country and pass on traditional knowledge to the next generation,” Ms Enoch said.
More information is available: https://www.qld.gov.au/environment/plants-animals/community/about-rangers
Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Minister for Science and Minister for the Arts
The Honourable Leeanne Enoch