On-country jobs in regional WA are set for a boost, with the State Government committing to its $20 million Aboriginal ranger program election pledge in last week’s State Budget.

The program will be funded for five years from 2017-18 with a view to focusing on ranger jobs in WA parks, indigenous protected areas and indigenous tenures.

Ranger work may include biodiversity monitoring/research, rehabilitation of mine sites, fire management and construction of campgrounds and recreation facilities.

Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan said the program would have benefits beyond simply providing indigenous people with jobs.

“We see this as a very important training opportunity for indigenous people and as a springboard into other environmental and biosecurity work,” she said.

Ms MacTiernan said Aboriginal ranger involvement in tackling invasive species and fire control would go hand-in-hand with the burgeoning North West agriculture industry.