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Joint Media Release
Mr Tony Abbott, MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for
Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs
Senator Ian Macdonald
Parliamentary Secretary to the
Minister for the Environment

RESTORING AUSTRALIA'S NATURAL HERITAGE


19 December 1997

The repair of important coastal areas, bush regeneration, habitat protection and wildlife preservation will be targeted in a new round of national Green Corps projects announced today.

The Parliamentary Secretary for Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs, Tony Abbott MP, and the Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment, Senator Ian Macdonald, announced 33 new projects, to begin across Australia in April, which will provide places for 330 young Australians aged between 17 and 20 years.

Mr Abbott complemented Green Corps members for making a practical contribution across the environmental spectrum. "One way or another, Australia will always need a Green Corps, because the environment will always require the kind of intensive restoration work that Green Corps teams are performing.

"Green Corps helps young Australians to reach their potential by boosting their future employment and education prospects," he said.

"Green Corps team members will receive accredited environmental training, providing nationally recognised skills transferable to other courses.

"While gaining valuable training experience, young people joining a Green Corps team will receive an allowance of up to $259 per week, and when they complete a project, they are also eligible to receive $500 towards the cost of ongoing education or training," Mr Abbott said.

Senator Macdonald said the projects were in addition to and complemented the Howard Government's environmental rescue plan, the $1.25 billion Natural Heritage Trust.

"Landcare activities, habitat protection, and bush and wetland regeneration are compatible with Trust programs which protect and restore Australia's bushland, waterways, and agricultural areas," Senator Macdonald said.

The announcement of the fifth round projects marks the continued delivery of a key election commitment by the Howard Government and the provision of $42 million to provide environmental outcomes and training opportunities for 3500 young Australians by the year 2000.

Green Corps comprise teams of young men and women who work closely with local communities and conservation agencies.

The Federal Government's Green Corps managing agent, the Australian Trust for Conservation Volunteers, will advertise for 330 round five participants in January. Information can be obtained from the toll-free Green Corps hotline, 1800 633 844.

Media Contacts:
Maxine Sells, Mr Abbott's office, (02) 62774337
Paula Randall, Senator Macdonald's office, (07) 47713066 / 0419 238 756

Commonwealth of Australia