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Hon Dr Sharman Stone MP
Federal Member for Murray
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister
for the Environment and Heritage
2 July 2001
Ten young Australians have taken on the challenge of helping to repair and rehabilitate the local environment as part of a new Green Corps project in and around Bendigo, Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment and Heritage, Sharman Stone said today.
Speaking at the official launch of Northern Plains Protection project today, Sharman Stone said that the young volunteers had shown great enthusiasm and commitment in volunteering to take part in the project.
"Over the next six months the Green Corps team will protect and enhance remnant vegetation across our Northern Plains. By planting 29,000 seedlings and erecting 12 kilometres of fences, over 80 hectares of remnant and new vegetation will be protected and enhanced", Sharman Stone said.
'It will be a lot of hard, but rewarding work that will benefit the environment, our community and provide invaluable experience for the young participants taking part."
Sharman Stone said that the young adults involved in the Northern Plains project would receive formal training, land management, environmental and life skills that would open up a range of new job and training opportunities at the end of the project in six months time.
"Green Corps training leads to 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."
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. The program initially received $41 million in funding in 1996. To date more than 6,000 young people have taken part in green Corps.
"Green Corps teams across the country have planted 3.3 million trees, collected over 4.4 tonnes of native seed and constructed 1127 kms of fencing. It all adds up to a fantastic result for the environment," Sharman Stone said.
"I am looking forward to coming back in 6 months time to see the results".
As well as undertaking practical conservation activities, participants receive 134 hours of accredited training in certificate courses such as Basic Landcare and Environment Action and Land Conservation and Restoration.
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
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
July 2nd, 2001