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The Hon Dr Sharman Stone
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Federal Member for Murray
3 August 2001
Central Victoria's newest Greencorps graduates received the green 'thumbs up' from Sharman Stone today in a ceremony in Castlemaine. 8 young Australians aged between 17-21 have been working on restoring and maintaining our precious box ironbark over the last 6 months.
"These young people will leave a lasting impression on the Bendigo and Castlemaine areas - their environmental achievements are truly impressive", Sharman Stone, Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment and Heritage, said.
"The team has planted 24,000 new seedlings, built 2 wildlife bridges, constructed nearly 6 km of new fences and sprayed or removed 90 hectares of noxious weeds. All of which will give our local box iron-bark a better chance of surviving the extended dry spell".
"In addition to their main box ironbark project, the Bendigo-Castlemaine project team have been involved in other important work including the restoration and maintenance of timber huts at Sovereign Hill, tree planting and weed control along Campbells Creek, track clearing in the Whipstick Forest and even assisting in the care of injured and orphaned wildlife at the Heathcote Wildlife Shelter", Sharman Stone said.
"They also involved themselves in National Tree Day recently by showing students from Campbells Creek Primary School the best way to plant new seedlings that will provide shelter and protection for years to come".
As well as the practical conservation activities undertaken by the Greencorps team, the participants received 134 hours of accredited training in certificate courses involving natural resource management and the environment. Many graduates continue to study or find work in environmental or natural resource management.
In return for taking part in the full-time, six-month project, participants receive a training allowance of up to $280 per week, depending on their age and experience.
"The Bendigo-Castlemaine team have helped address local land degradation issues including salinity, rising water tables, water quality and combating greenhouse gas emissions", Sharman Stone said.
"The skills and experience that they have gained over the last 6 months will benefit them in the years to come -whatever their career might be".
Young people interested in participating in the Federal Government's Green Corps should contact the Conservation Volunteers Australia telephone hotline on freecall 1800 633 844 or visit the website at www.greencorps.org.au.
For further information contact:
Simon Frost 0419 495 468
August 3rd 2001