Big project for land and sea
A $320,000 deal is tipped to boost Indigenous employment and benefit the Gladstone region's environment.
Yesterday Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection Dr Steven Miles met with the Gidarjil Development Corporation to announce the start of the Land and Sea Rangers program in Gladstone.
For 21-year-old land and sea ranger Dwayne Lingwoodock, the decision gives him another reason to be passionate about his job.
He said the extra manpower would help them take on more projects to continue to protect the land and sea environments in the Port Curtis Coral Coast region.
The former Gladstone State High School student has been a land and sea ranger for seven months.
He said it was a great opportunity, given he was looking for work in Gladstone for more than 12 months prior.
"Our goal is to keep our harbours happy and healthy," Mr Lingwoodock said.
The Indigenous Land and Sea Rangers program employs Gladstone Indigenous people to undertake land and sea country management activities.
The $320,000 commitment has been funded half by Australia Pacific LNG and half by the state government.
Dr Steven Miles said Gladstone was the 16th city to launch the program in Australia.
The initial funding is for three additional land and sea rangers for 12 months.
"This means we will have additional rangers on the ground looking after marine life and other wildlife, and our important natural environments like mangroves, around islands and the southern great barrier reef," Dr Miles said.
Gidarjil sea country manager Peter Brockhurst said their projects ranged from protecting mangroves and sea grass to monitoring turtles.
"Just last year we worked with archaeologists to put a scoring system in the harbour, which was then used as part of the Healthy Harbour Report Card," he said.