Burke backs push for more Aboriginal cattlemen

30 Mar, 2009 09:28 AM
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The Federal Government will provide $350,000 to support young Indigenous people keen to work on cattle stations.

Minister for Agriculture, Tony Burke, announced the funding at the opening of the Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association Annual Industry Conference in Alice Springs on the weekend.

He said the Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association would use the funding to provide training and on-site mentoring.

Last July, Mr Burke visited 'Lamboo Station' in the Kimberley, Western Australia, which is an indigenous-run cattle station.

"The Rudd Government is keen to ensure more indigenous people can contribute to this critical export industry," Mr Burke said.

"Businesses such as Lamboo Station are achieving fantastic results thanks to the hardworking and innovative indigenous people running the operations.

"This funding will help to provide training and support so that more Indigenous people can find jobs in the pastoral industry."

Mr Burke said pre-vocational training would provide students with an opportunity to learn industry skills while they continue their studies.

"This is expected to include horsemanship and cattle handling at the Youth Development Unit in Tennant Creek," he said.

"In addition, some newly-trained Indigenous employees can find it isolating to work on cattle stations.

"On-site mentors will support them and provide a valuable source of practical knowledge and skills.

"This project is about promoting agriculture as a viable career pathway and will help boost the participation of Indigenous people in our pastoral industry."

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