WORKING ON COUNTRY
Acknowledgements QMDC pays respect to the Traditional Owner Elders, Elders and Seniors of the countries (Nations) in our region. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this publication may contain images of people who may have since passed away. The photographs in this report are from various QMDC staff members. Cultural artwork courtesy of John Hunter. Graphic elements: www.vecteezy.com
The Queensland Murray-Darling Basin Community Rangers Program is support via funding from the Australian Governmentâ€™s Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. The QMDC Working on Country Report has been prepared with all due care and diligence, using the best available information at the time of publication (December 2015). QMDC holds no responsibility for any errors or omissions within the document. Any decisions made by other parties based on this report are the responsibility of those parties. ÂŠQMDC Inc.
The Queensland Murray-Darling Committee Aboriginal Rangers undertook a project to help a land owner in the Weengallon district tackle salinity. These plants were planted to help lower the rising water table and they are also good feed for stock in times of drought. The Rangers spent several weeks on this project and in the end, planted more than 1.2 million bushes.
The Queensland Murray-Darling Committee Aboriginal Rangers have a program in which they deploy carp traps into local water ways and lagoons. This project has been running for four years and in that time, the Rangers have taken many thousands of carp. The traps are put in place for 10 days and are checked daily to remove and release any native species caught. This is an ongoing project to help improve water quality (European carp contribute to poor water quality by uprooting vegetation and stirring up sediments during feeding, leading to increased turbidity) and reduce competition for native fish (such as the Murray Cod, pictured right).
The Queensland Murray-Darling Committee Aboriginal Rangers have undertaken several projects with local schools and community groups. One project involved creating a bush tucker garden at the Dirranbandi State School. The Rangers also helped with the repatriation of the bodies of their ancestors, once held in museums, back to country.
Each year, the Queensland Murray-Darling Committee Aboriginal Rangers undertake one FarmEcology project. During this time, the Rangers and their biodiversity technical officer colleagues spend a week in the bush, on council reserves or national parks carrying out flora and fauna surveys to see what animals live in the local area. These weeks culminate with a public meeting to share information about the native animals with other local residents.
Four water monitoring surveys are carried out by the Queensland Murray-Darling Committee Aboriginal Rangers each year. These are done at sites in the Condamine, Balonne, Maranoa, Moonie and Border Rivers catchments. It is the job of the Rangers to collect the data and pass it on to other departments within the Queensland MurrayDarling Committee and it is entered into a statewide database, UniDap.
Gathering new ideas from across the world is just one reason the Queensland Murray-Darling Committee Aboriginal Rangers regularly attend World Ranger Conferences. So far, team members have attended conferences at Darwin (pictured), Melbourne and Renmark, South Australia. Attending these conferences is a good chance to meet rangers and other indigenous peoples from all over the world, and getting new ideas.
Fencing to protect riverine areas, to help improve property management via fencing to soil type and protecting koala habitat has all been carried out by the QMDC Aboriginal Rangers. These projects were carried out with landholders and local councils. â€œOut of all the work we do, we regard fencing as our favourite and most satisfying job.â€?
Apart from the weed spraying programs, the Queensland Murray-Darling Committee Aboriginal Rangers also controls weeds in other ways. Pictured above is an example of tree pear control on the Toowoomba Common and similar work has been carried out at the Dirranbandi Old Camp, the Mitchell Yumba and Inglewood Grinding Grooves. The Rangers also worked with the Western Downs Regional Council (right) to control an outbreak of salvinia near Miles, threatening not just the waterway but the townâ€™s water supply.
Protecting areas of cultural significance is an important role of the Queensland Murray-Darling Committee Aboriginal Rangers. There have been several projects over the years where the Rangers have fenced and protected rockwells, burial grounds, grinding grooves, scar trees and Aboriginal camping grounds.
For further information, contact QMDC on (07) 4637 6200 or visit www.qmdc.org.au. While every care is taken to ensure the accuracy of this information, QMDC accepts no liability for any external decisions or actions taken on the basis of information contained in this document. ÂŠ Copyright Queensland Murray-Darling Committee Inc.
Published on Dec 7, 2015
The Queensland Murray-Darling Committee Aboriginal Rangers are working to protect areas of cultural heritage and the landscapes and communit...