The Federal Government has announced the creation of 12 new Indigenous Protected Areas (IPAs) following a $14.6 million investment.

IPAs are regions of land and sea managed by First Nations groups, aimed at enhancing environmental protection and providing local employment opportunities.

From the deserts of Western Australia to the rainforests of New South Wales, the new IPAs are intended to safeguard 7.5 million hectares of land and 450,000 hectares of sea Country - an area exceeding the size of Tasmania. 

IPAs currently span 87 million hectares of land and over five million hectares of sea Country, constituting the majority of Australia’s national estate.

The initiative is part of the Government's objective to protect 30 per cent of Australia’s land by 2030. 

These new IPAs should also contribute to biodiversity conservation, offering habitats for species such as the koala, Greater Bilby, Princess Parrot, and Eastern Curlew. 

The Yurruungga Aboriginal Corporation and the Jagun Alliance Aboriginal Corporation in NSW will manage new IPAs to improve the status of threatened species like the Swift Parrot and the Regent Honeyeater, while ensuring the protection of cultural heritage. 

The expanded IPA program, part of the Government’s Closing the Gap Implementation Plan, aims to increase employment for more than 700 First Nations people, including 326 women.

The Australian Government has committed $231.5 million to support the IPA program.
The new Indigenous Protected Areas will include diverse regions such as Mount Willoughby in South Australia, managed by the Tjirilya Aboriginal Corporation, and Yanyuwa Sea Country in the Northern Territory, overseen by the Mabunji Aboriginal Resource Indigenous Corporation. 

In New South Wales, the Bellinger Valley project and the Bringing Jagun Together initiative will be managed by the Yurruungga Aboriginal Corporation and the Jagun Alliance Aboriginal Corporation, respectively. 

Queensland will see the establishment of the Muunthiwarra, Alka Bawa and Kalpowar IPA, managed by the Muunthiwarra Aboriginal Corporation, and the Wadja IPA Consultation Project, under the Wadja Aboriginal Corporation. 

The expansive Simpson Desert IPA will be managed by the Central Land Council in the Northern Territory, while Western Australia will gain new IPAs managed by the Nyamal Aboriginal Corporation, Esperance Tjaltjraak Native Title Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC, and Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation.

More information is accessible here.