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Indigenous rangers set to get on-board with "Reef Resilience"



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Indigenous rangers set to get on-board with "Reef

Resilience"

environment.gov.au

/minister/price/media-releases/mr20180607a.html

The Hon. Melissa Price MP

Assistant Minister for the Environment

Warren Entsch MP

Federal Member for Leichhardt

Joint media release

7 June 2018

Indigenous rangers are set to play a greater role in sea country management and

compliance in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park by joining patrols on a new off-shore

vessel.

Work is underway on building a 24-metre aluminium catamaran Reef Resilience, which will

be added to the fleet of vessels patrolling the Marine Park from early 2019.

Assistant Minister for the Environment Melissa Price said the new $6 million vessel, funded

by the Australian Government, presented a fantastic opportunity for Indigenous rangers to

put their compliance training into practice.

"More than 40 Indigenous rangers have now been trained in Marine Park compliance and

on-water and aerial surveillance, and will have an opportunity to join Marine Park officers

on field management vessels, including Reef Resilience," Assistant Minister Price said.

"The rangers will be involved in a variety of activities such as monitoring compliance with

zoning rules, maintaining popular island visitor sites and moorings and fire and weed

control on islands.

"Field actions to protect the Great Barrier Reef are vital, particularly given the increasing

pressure climate change is creating for reefs around the world. The benefits no-take areas

provide to coral reefs can be maximised through higher levels of compliance.

"The Reef Resilience, as its name implies, will play a role in boosting the Reef's ability to

bounce back from impacts affecting its health.

"Many Indigenous rangers come from, live and work in remote communities and bring

extensive local knowledge and insights.

"It's also fantastic to see Marine Park officers working with Indigenous rangers to boost

their skills and capacity through formal training and on-the-job experience."

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Reef Resilience — like the existing Reef Ranger vessel — will operate away from port for 12

weeks, will have a range of up to 2000 nautical miles, a speed of up to 25 knots and

accommodate 16 people.

Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch MP said the Federal Government was proud to

support the fantastic work being done by indigenous ranger groups across Cape York and

the Torres Strait.

"I have seen first-hand the marvellous work that these groups do on a daily basis," Mr

Entsch said.

"The work that continues to be done by rangers across Cape York and the Torres Strait to

protect our amazing land and sea country is incredible, and provides real skills and

employment opportunities in these areas.

"I look forward to continuing to see the incredible contributions made by the local rangers

as they protect our beautiful and diverse country."

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park is roughly the size of Italy or Japan, so rangers have a

vast territory to cover in their day-to-day work.

"This vessel greatly enhances our ability to work in the Marine Park — time saved travelling

means more time on-site and the vessel enables more people to work in the water and on

the ground," Assistant Minister Price said.

Gold Coast firm, MEC Yachts, are constructing the vessel, representing a significant

investment in Queensland's boat building industry and an important boost for local jobs.

Twenty-three Indigenous rangers from across Queensland are completing a nationally-

accredited Certificate IV in Government Investigations (Regulatory Compliance).

This training is funded by the Government's Indigenous Advancement Strategy, as part of a

project to build the capacity of Indigenous rangers.

It follows the highly successful Indigenous Ranger Compliance Enhancement Program,

which saw 17 Indigenous Rangers receive inspector powers in March this year.

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