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The Hon Dr Sharman Stone MP
Federal Member for Murray
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister
for the Environment and Heritage
19 December 2000
A committed group of 10 young Australians have been involved in a project designed to enhance the biodiversity of North Central Victoria's famous, but under threat, box ironbark forest, as part of the Federal Government's Greencorps program.
Sharman Stone, Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment and Heritage was on hand to inspect the work the team has been involved with over the last 6 months, at the main Flora Hill site and across regional Victoria.
"The Bendigo Greencorps team has undertaken extensive tree planting in the area, erected fencing to exclude grazing, removed woody weeds and assisted in the establishment of a new walking track in the Whipstick Forest. They also lent a hand with the maintenance of a community building in Rushworth and helped with a community tree planting weekend", Sharman Stone said.
"Team members have also travelled outside the region to lend a hand to projects at Swan Bay (near Geelong), a community planting and environmental awareness program at Ballarat and a Landcare Group near Warragul".
"The wide variety of experiences that the graduates have enjoyed increases their chances of employment, study or further training. 70% of Greencorps graduates are in paid employment or full time study 3 months after finishing their placement".
Sharman Stone said that the Federal Government, in conjunction with the Australian Trust for Conservation Volunteers, were providing 1,700 places in the Greencorps program, each year, for the next three years.
"The Bendigo team join 6,000 other 17-20 year olds right around Australia who are learning important environmental and land management techniques. They also gain valuable leadership and teamwork skills and accredited training in first aid and occupational health and safety".
"As well as revegetating and restoring around 2,000 tree species, mapping and recording weed infestations and learning first aid and land management skills, Bendigo Greencorps participants received a training wage of up to $280 per week", Sharman Stone said.
Young people interested in participating in the Greencorps program should contact the National Hotline on 1800 633 844 or visit the Greencorps website at: www.greencorps.org.au.
For further information please contact:
Simon Frost 0419 495 468 or 02 6277 2016
December 19th 2000