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Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment
24 February 1998
In less than a year, 1 260 young Australians working in Green Corps teams have planted over half a million trees and shrubs, repaired over 1 500 hectares of sand dunes and built and maintained 155 kilometres of bush walking trails.
The 17-to-20-year olds have also collected more than 250 kilograms of native seed for revegetation, conducted 100 wildlife surveys and greatly assisted the protection of many threatened species including the Giant Gippsland Earthworm and the Malleefowl.
Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill says the outstanding record of Green Corps teams is a testament to the willingness of young Australians to do something positive for the environment.
Senator Hill has acknowledged the achievements of Green Corps teams while delivering the closing address at the national Green Corps Conference in Canberra.
"Green Corps participants should be proud of the contribution they are making to protecting and conserving Australia's natural and cultural heritage.
"This time last year, when 24 flagship Green Corps projects were about to begin, the programme had promise and expectations were high, both from the government and the community.
"Judging by the results on-the-ground, the high number of young people applying to join Green Corps teams and the widespread public support for the programme, the Green Corps is an outstanding success.
"The feedback provided by the participants at this conference will be used to fine tune the programme to benefit future Green Corps teams and maximise the results on-the-ground."
The conference has been sponsored by the Commonwealth Bank, BHP, Landcare Australia Ltd, North Ltd, Wesfarmers, Incitec and the Department of Employment Education, Training and Youth Affairs, with assistance from Environment Australia.
The first round of projects for the Howard Government's $41.6 million Green Corps programme began in March 1997. Round five projects commence in early April.
Young people can apply to join a 10-member Green Corps team and for six months receive a training allowance while gaining practical experience in environmental management. Details are available from the Green Corps hotline on 1800 633 844. The Green Corps is managed by the Australian Trust for Conservation Volunteers.
Matt Brown (Senator Hill) 02 6277 7640 or 0419 693 515
John Williams (Environment Australia) 02 6250 0364
24 February 1998