Northern Territory Government Newsroom

Delivering on an Election Promise: Increased Powers for Aboriginal Rangers

The Territory Labor Government is delivering on its election commitment to give Aboriginal Rangers more power to manage and protect their land with amendments to the Territory Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 1976 passing in Parliament today.

The amendments enable Aboriginal Rangers to become ‘conservation officers’ by law, giving them more powers to manage their traditional lands, including against illegal activity and other threats.

The amendments follow extensive consultation with Ranger groups across the Territory, as well as Land Councils and other key stakeholder groups, and are a first in Australia.

Around 1000 Aboriginal Rangers operate across 46 established Aboriginal Ranger groups, protecting 460,000 square kilometres of land, undertaking invaluable work.

The amendments are also in line with the Territory Labor Government's commitment to Local Decision Making, returning decision-making and governance to local communities.

A governance framework will be established to support the new provisions, with work already underway, ensuring Aboriginal Rangers are able to access the training and capability development they need to take on the new powers.

Quotes from Minister for Tourism, Sport and Culture, Lauren Moss:

“We made an election promise to recognise the important role of Aboriginal Ranger groups in the Territory and today we have delivered on that promise.

“Aboriginal Rangers will be recognised as ‘conservation officers’ under law, giving them more powers to better manage and protect their traditional lands.

“These new laws mean they will be better supported to carry out those responsibilities, including having more powers to manage against illegal activity on their lands. 

“These amendments are the result of extensive consultation and will also open up more development, training and employment opportunities for Aboriginal Rangers on country.”

Media contact: Lisa Sennett 0436 929 858