- $535,000 for the Arafura Swamp Rangers to expand commercial crocodile harvesting business.
- This Indigenous Entrepreneurs Fund (IEF) investment will enable equipment upgrades and create six new jobs.
- The IEF is part of the Coalition Government’s $5 billion Indigenous Advancement Strategy (IAS).
The Coalition Government is announcing a $535,000 boost to Indigenous entrepreneurs in the Arnhem Land community of Ramingining, as part of Indigenous Business Month celebrations.
Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion said today during a visit to Ramingining that this investment in the Arafura Swamp Rangers Aboriginal Corporation was a fantastic boost for the local economy and was part of the Coalition Government’s plan to build strong and sustainable remote economies across Australia.
“Communities called for an Indigenous Entrepreneurs Fund (IEF) and in the 2016 election the Government made a $115 million commitment to back them. We heard in every community there are Indigenous entrepreneurs who have the ideas and energy to start a business but the banks rarely took on the risk of lending to people in remote and regional communities,” Minister Scullion said.
“There are too many Indigenous entrepreneurs whose business ideas have the potential to transform their communities but they just need a hand to get started. Through the IEF we are giving Indigenous entrepreneurs a fair-go.
“The Arafura Swamp Rangers are combining local knowledge and expertise with an emerging industry, as more people look for crocodile skin and meat through international markets.
“Through the IEF investment the Government has assisted the business purchase key infrastructure such as incubators, freezers, processing areas, civil works and technical expertise.
“The business incubates crocodiles from eggs to an appropriate size for sale, and once raised they are sold to the Darwin Crocodile Farm, which has seen an increase in demand over previous years.
“To keep up with commercial needs, plant and equipment and more staff will be required, increasing production capacity to 2,000 crocodiles per annum.
“As it ramps up, this investment will create job opportunities to move up to six Indigenous jobseekers from the misery of welfare and into the dignity of work.
CEO of the Arafura Swamp Rangers, Dominic Nicholls welcomed this investment.
“Arafura Rangers have a long history working with the crocodile industry, this funding from the IEF is a wise and welcome investment from the Government that will unlock new economic opportunities for the community,” Mr Nicholls said.
Nationally, the IEF has supported over 70 Indigenous businesses in regional and remote areas, purchase plant and equipment to win new contracts
This initiative complements the Government’s broader Indigenous economic development agenda including our new Indigenous Procurement Policy (IPP) that has resulted in over 1000 Indigenous businesses winning over $1.084 billion in contracts in the first 2 ½ years of the IPP. A spectacular success compared to the former policies, which resulted in just 30 Indigenous businesses winning just $6.2 million worth of contracts in 2012-13.