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Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage
The Hon. Dr David Kemp
28 October 2003
An innovative and successful nature refuge project undertaken by Green Corp participants in Moreton was today recognised by the Federal Minister for Environment and Heritage Dr David Kemp, as an excellent model for community groups to use in efforts to revive local flora and fauna.
Dr Kemp today attended the graduation of the 10 Green Corps who participated in the Moreton Nature Search and Nature Refuge project.
"The team of local young people, aged between 17 and 20 years, have been working on the Moreton Nature Search and Nature Refuge project over the past six months," he said.
"During this time, they worked tirelessly and enthusiastically to restore and monitor significant ecosystems and important wildlife habitats in protected areas in the Moreton region, including Gaia and Pinecliffs Nature Reserves, Incanto, Bartopia and Mungal Nature Refuges, Moggill Reserve & Bribie Island.
"The quality of their work has been outstanding. All participants have benefited enormously from this opportunity to conserve and restore the local area's natural environment and cultural heritage.
"The graduates have developed skills in fauna surveying, seed collection, tree propagation and planting, weed management, and track construction. They have also assisted with the maintenance and protection of a colony of vulnerable Black, Little-Red and Grey-headed Flying-foxes at Woodend Nature Reserve, and learnt about fauna, flora and important wildlife habitats in the Moreton region."
Dr Kemp said the environmental outcomes from the Green Corps project were impressive and the team's outputs and model are now being used as an example for other Green Corps teams across Australia.
"This model would also be very useful for other community groups looking to achieve similar objectives," he said.
As part of the project, the Green Corps team added flora and fauna records to `Wildnet' (Queensland's computerised wildlife information database), restored five hectares of remnant forest, collected two kilograms of native seed to restore natural habitat, propagated and planted 1000 plants, and constructed a one kilometre track.
"By restoring areas of bushland, the Green Corps participants have created new refuges for important wildlife and enhanced habitat, including the endangered Marble Frog Mouth at Gaia Nature Refuge," said Dr Kemp.
Work undertaken on nature refuges will be maintained by private landholders with support from the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service and a regular landholder newsletter will ensure the local community is encouraged to be involved in the reserve's long-term management.
The Green Corps program provides young people with the opportunity to volunteer to work on environmental and heritage conservation projects. Projects are community based, of six months duration and are located mainly in regional and remote areas of Australia.
All ten Green Corps Graduates have achieved a Certificate II in Conservation and Land Management, received training in senior First Aid, Occupational Health and Safety and Career Counselling, and successfully completed elective units including native plant identification, propagation and management and track construction. A number plan to resume University, while others have applied for traineeships.
Dr Kemp encouraged young people interested in participating in the Green Corps to contact the National Green Corps Hotline number on 1800 077 700 or visit the Green Corps web site at: www.greencorps.com.au.