Pictured in Tingha during the 2018 NAIDOC Week street march.
Member for New England Barnaby Joyce and the Coalition Government will invest more than $838,000 over the next five years to support the Glen Innes community in protecting biodiversity and cultural heritage through Indigenous Protected Areas.
Indigenous Protected Areas put land and sea country management into the hands of Traditional Owners, providing environmental, employment and social benefits.
Having started the 2018 NAIDOC Week on Monday with a street march in Tingha, Mr Joyce said two Indigenous Protected Areas in New England would receive Coalition Government funding to continue their work as part of 76 across the country.
“Speaking to local Aboriginal people in Tingha this week, the spiritual importance which the land holds for them is clear,” Mr Joyce said.
“So it’s fitting that we announce The Willows and Boorabee Indigenous Protected Areas, under the care of Glen Innes Local Aboriginal Land Council, as among those in the New England to receive a funding extension as Indigenous Protected Areas.
“This is not just culture of Aboriginal people, it is the cultural heritage of Australia and we want to make sure it remains a vital part of who we all are.
“In the New England Electorate there are so many places with Aboriginal names for which the meaning is lost, this should be motivation to treasure and look after what is left.
“We’re also making a record investment in ranger programmes and proud to have now invested $727 million since coming to office and I am delighted to be announcing this new funding as part of NAIDOC Week 2018.”
Mr Joyce said combined with Indigenous Rangers, these programmes employ over 2,900 First Australians across regional and remote Australia.
Indigenous Protected Areas now comprise over 65 million hectares, or more than 44 per cent, of Australia’s National Reserve System.