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The Hon Dr Sharman Stone MP
Federal Member for Murray
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister
for the Environment and Heritage
22 May 2000
A green retreat in Melbourne's industrial heartland has received a six-month make over from a crack team of Green Corps trainees.
Speaking today at the graduation ceremony for the Spotswood Reserve Urban Landcare Project, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Environment and Heritage, Dr Sharman Stone, said the team had faced up to the massive challenge of revegetating and rehabilitating one of Melbourne's busiest industrial areas with great success.
"The hard work and commitment demonstrated over the past six-months in making the Hyde Park Reserve 'cleaner and greener' than it has been for many years is a great credit to the young volunteers involved," Sharman Stone said.
Over the past six months the team have developed and implemented a revegetation plan for Stony Creek Backwash and adjacent reserve, designed and constructed interpretative signs to improve community awareness and established a long-term maintenance program.
"The trainees have planted 17,000 native trees and shrubs along the banks of Stony Creek and local parklands. Greening the City's industrial heartland will help to bring back native birds, fish animals and insects to the area, which in turn means a healthier environment for local residents," Sharman Stone said.
Dr Stone said the project was important for the greater city area, because the reserve and adjacent Stony Creek feed directly into the Yarra River.
"The teams efforts will have a lasting effect health of local parklands, Stony Creek and in turn one of Melbourne's best loved icons, the majestic Yarra River."
The project has been co-sponsored by the Maribyrnong City Council, Hobson's Bay City Council, Parks Victoria and the Friends of Stony Creek community group.
Dr Stone said one of the great benefits of Green Corps training was the range of new job and training opportunities that became available for graduates of the program.
"Green Corps training opens up a world of new career and life opportunities. Surveys tell us that 46% of participants gain jobs after leaving Green Corps, while another 21% pursue further study or training."
"Graduates are now employed around Australia in local councils, by Greening Australia, National Parks, and one group of young entrepreneurs in Queensland has even started their own landscape business," Sharman Stone said.
The Green Corps trainees graduating today are Rhys Corr, Sherry-Ann Hudyma, Daniel Rabe, Sam Goldberg, Jason Spencer, Robert Jackson and Daniel Wallace.
Green Corps is the Federal Government's $88.8 million environmental training program giving 6,800 young Australians aged between 17 and 20 years the opportunity to make a commitment to the environment while gaining valuable work skills and experience.
Nicole Johnston, Assistant Adviser, 02 6277 2016 or 0419 219 415
EMBARGOED UNTIL MONDAY 22 May 2000