Joint media release: Establishing 10 new Indigenous Protected Areas

The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP, Minister for the Environment and Water
The Hon Linda Burney MP, Minister for Indigenous Australians

The Albanese Labor Government is investing $14.5 million to establish ten new Indigenous Protected Areas (IPAs), to better protect and conserve more of Australia’s land and sea.

IPAs are a proud homegrown success story. IPAs are areas of land and sea Country managed by First Nations groups which also deliver positive environmental outcomes for the benefit of all Australians.

They now cover 87 million hectares of Australia’s land and over 5 million hectares of sea country – which is the majority of Australia’s national estate.

By supporting Traditional Owners to look after their own country, IPAs offer multiple benefits, with better environmental protection, stronger economic opportunities, and a more enduring connection to land and culture.

They show that when we listen to First Nations people, and when we support them to make decisions over their own lives and their communities, we get better outcomes.

The ten new IPAs will go towards the Government’s commitment to protect 30 per cent of land and seas by 2030.

The expansion of the IPA Program also delivers on the Commonwealth’s Closing the Gap Implementation Plan, providing increased opportunity for First Nations peoples to maintain their physical and spiritual connection to Country.

This new funding is part of the Government’s $231.5 million commitment to expand and improve the IPA program over the next 5 years.

IPAs are developed under voluntary agreements between First Nations peoples and the Australian Government to manage and protect areas of land and sea for conservation of cultural and natural heritage values.

To find out more about the new funding round for IPAs visit Indigenous Protected Areas Program grants or email

Quotes attributable to Minister for the Environment and Water, Tanya Plibersek:

“We are so lucky in Australia to have the world’s most successful environmentalists to learn from. No one knows this land like First Nations communities. And no one is better placed to care for it than they are.

“The IPA program draws on this knowledge and expertise, to better protect and conserve Australia’s environment. They're better for the environment, better for local jobs, and better for local culture.

“Today the Albanese Labor Government is expanding the IPA program, with $14.5 million to add an extra ten more areas across Australia.

“We are committed to repairing nature that has been damaged, protecting our precious species, and leaving nature better off for our kids and grandkids. Increasing funding to IPAs is an important part of this mission. So is our plan to double the number of Indigenous Rangers by 2030.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Indigenous Australians, Linda Burney:

“The Indigenous Protected Areas Program is such an important initiative.

“It’s about working with First Nations communities and supporting Traditional Owners to manage and protect land and sea country for future generations.

“Protecting our biodiversity and rehabilitating areas in need, is a priority for the Australian Government. It’s why we are proud to commit $14.5 million to create 10 new Indigenous Protected Areas.

“First Nations people involved in the IPA program report benefits of cultural connection and wellbeing, as well as broader socio-economic benefits in their local communities.

 “This funding boost will support First Nations peoples to continue to manage and protect their land for generations to come.”