Green Army gearing up for action in Hinkler

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Young people in Hinkler are set to join 17 to 24 year olds across the nation who will, through the Australia Government’s Green Army, become part of the largest environmental movement in the nation’s history, according to Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt.

Mr Pitt said the Green Army was a key Coalition election commitment, with $525 million budgeted over four years.

“The first round of Green Army projects under this funding commitment has been announced and Hinkler will be hosting two teams,” Mr Pitt said.

“Young Australians will now have the opportunity to be a part of one of the Government’s major environmental initiatives and to help our community deliver important local conservation outcomes.”

Green Army projects to be rolled out in Hinkler under the first round are:

  •  The Salvation Army Tom Quinn Community Centre (TQCC) – Rehabilitation and Protection of Saltwater Creek, Bundaberg.
  •  Bundaberg Regional Council – Restoring Bundaberg’s Rainforests.

“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 Pitt said.

The Salvation Army TQCC has been involved in delivering previous Green Army projects over recent years, which include practical, hands-on training.

Tom Osborne, Community Services Manager for the TQCC, said: “We are pleased to have the opportunity to deliver this latest project, which will deliver tangible benefits for the environment and our local heritage.

“Importantly, using the facilities and experience of the Centre, we will work to provide the participants with skills, training and experience which will help them to enter the workforce or improve their career opportunities. It is part of the way we work, with the support of the government, towards our mission of transforming lives across the Bundaberg region.”

Mr Osborne said of the project: “Saltwater Creek is a freshwater and mangrove-lined creek which runs through residential Bundaberg and is connected to well-known Baldwin Swamp before entering the Burnett River. In the past five years The Salvation Army has partnered with Bundaberg Regional Council and worked with several groups to start to help restore the ecological condition of this creek and form a riparian buffer zone.

“The TQCC has already undertaken work on another stretch of Saltwater Creek, removing invasive weeds, testing and monitoring water quality and replanting with native plants.

“Under this latest project, it is proposed to deliver extra plantings of local native tree species, removal of environmental weeds including invasive vines and removal of debris which degrades the habitat for freshwater and saltwater fish and crustacean species.”

Bundaberg Regional Council Mayor Mal Forman said the partnerships experienced with the Federal Government in similar programs in the past had produced outstanding results for the region.

“Council looks forward to the commencement of these projects which provide enhanced skills for the participants and great project outcomes for our community,” Cr Forman said.

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.

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.

Media contact: Debbie Leis 07 4152 0744

 

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