The Turnbull Government is committed to supporting Indigenous ranger and Indigenous Protected Areas, and the important work undertaken through these programs to protect and conserve biodiversity, and preserve cultural heritage nationally. The Coalition Government remains committed to providing further opportunities for training, employment and economic development through our investment in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, including through the Indigenous rangers and Indigenous Protected Areas.
In April this year the Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Senator the Hon Nigel Scullion, announced funding of more than $250 million to extend Indigenous rangers to 2021. In July, Minister Scullion also announced the delivery of more than $87 million in projects under the Indigenous Protected Area program to 2023.
Since coming to office the Coalition has sustainably grown funding to Indigenous ranger groups to record levels and we are also committed to declaring more Indigenous Protected Areas. In 2017-18 the government spent $82 million on Indigenous rangers, which was an increase of over 30 per cent since the Coalition took office in 2013.
We are also investing $30 million to increase the capacity for Indigenous rangers to undertake compliance activities and increase technical skills to generate opportunities in biosecurity, border protection and land and water care.
Together these programs provide employment for more than 2,900 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in land and sea management and contribute to the achievement of environmental, social, cultural and economic outcomes for communities and for all Australians.
The Coalition Government established the Indigenous rangers program and we remain the only political party that has the capacity to support, protect and grow the program into the future.