FEDERAL Member for New England Barnaby Joyce said young people in the electorate will be among the first 17 to 24 year olds to join the Australian Government’s Green Army and become part of the largest environmental movement in Australia’s history.
“The first round of Green Army projects are set to get underway in the coming weeks and I’m pleased to announce Inverell and the Jubullum Local Aboriginal Land Council on the Rocky River near Tabulum will be among the first areas in the electorate to host a Green Army project team,” Mr Joyce said.
The project at Inverell, sponsored by BEST Employment Ltd, involves a Green Army team propagating and planting White Box seedlings around the Inverell Waste Management Facility.
Participants will propagate tree seedlings and undertake accredited training at the BEST Tree Tenders Nursery Facility.
Participants will learn horticulture techniques, plant and equipment operation, employability skills and develop environmental and species awareness.
The Rocky River project involves restoring a riverbank that has progressively eroded through flooding events and upstream water-use activities.
This has destroyed the natural riverbank and affected the vegetation and habitats of freshwater-based flora and fauna, including short-necked turtles and the recently discovered and possibly unique freshwater prawn.
This project aims to assess and survey the requirements for revegetating the river-bank and developing community-based skills, which can be used for ongoing monitoring and protection.
“The Green Army provides opportunities for young Australians aged 17-24 years to gain training and experience in environmental and heritage conservation fields and explore careers in conservation management, while participating in projects that generate real benefits for the Australian environment,” Mr Joyce said.
“Participants will receive a Green Army allowance for the duration of their project. Participants will also be supported to obtain Certificate I or II qualifications or nationally endorsed skills set to help them prepare for the workforce or improve their career opportunities.”
The Green Army was a key Coalition election commitment, and with $525 million budgeted over four years, the Green Army is one of the Government's major environmental initiatives and will encourage practical, grassroots action to support local environment and heritage conservation projects across Australia, providing training to 15,000 young Australians by 2018.
This investment in the Green Army will bring the Government's total investment in natural resource management to more than $2 billion over four years.
Young Australians interested in joining the Green Army can apply through the appointed Service Providers for each state and territory. Contact details for Service Providers are available from www.environment.gov.au/green-army