What’s in the federal budget for traditional owners?

This week Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced the 2022-23 Budget ahead of the federal election.

The Morrison Government’s main priorities are lowering the costs of groceries, fuel, and housing.

But how is the Budget going to help traditional owners protect their Country? 

Aboriginal Heritage Protections

After establishing the First Nations Heritage Protection Alliance in November last year the Morrison Government will invest $11 million in cultural heritage reforms.

This is vital funding needed to strengthen safeguards for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural heritage after the Juukan Gorge disaster.

PBC Funding

The federal government has committed $37.5 million towards governance training for Prescribed Body Corporates (PBCs). This funding will establish a steering group and expand training delivered by the National Native Title Council to support native title holders in protecting their native title rights and interests.

“The first step in native title is recognising the rights and interests of traditional owners, but they need comprehensive governance training to know how to operate as a PBC, which makes informed decisions about managing their land and waters. This is not possible without sustainable funding,” said Keith Thomas, CEO of SA Native Title Services.

Indigenous Ranger Programs

The budget includes $636.4 million to create an estimated 2,000 additional Indigenous ranger jobs by 2028.

The Country Needs People campaign pushed the federal government to invest more in Indigenous rangers and called on the South Australian Government to support more ranger programs on a state level.

“In terms of SA, it does not change our message to the new Malinauskas Government.  Now is the time to be strategic and support SA groups to position themselves for potential funding from the federal government,” said Peter See, Senior Officer Strategy and Projects at Country Needs People.

Media contact: calebs@nativetitlesa.org