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Media Release
The Hon Dr Sharman Stone MP
Federal Member for Murray
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister
for the Environment and Heritage

16 September 1999

BRIGHTON GREEN CORPS TEAM DIGS DEEP FOR THE ENVIRONMENT


Ten young Tasmanian's are hard at work in Brighton, north of Hobart, helping to restore native grasslands and replant trees around the town's urban fringe, Dr Sharman Stone MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Environment and Heritage said today.

In Brighton to meet with the young environmentalists, Dr Stone said the team aimed to plant 2,300 native trees and shrubs, remove weeds over a 2500 square metre area, build 750 metres of walking track and map 80 metres of riverbank vegetation.

The project was nominated by the Brighton Council, who in conjunction with Greening Australia, have prepared a botanical survey and are currently developing a natural vegetation strategy that the Green Corps trainees will build upon over the next few months.

"This project is critical because of its holistic approach to restoring the local environment. Careful planning is translating into on-ground action that will help bring back the local area's biodiversity and improve the communities access to and awareness of the area's parklands."

"It is a marvellous example of how the community, conservation organisations and the local council can work together to protect Tasmania's unique and precious natural resources," Dr Stone said.

Dr Stone said the trainees would also undertake 134 hours of accredited training in First Aid, Land Conservation and Restoration, Environmental Audit, Weed Control Techniques and Park Pathway construction as part of the six-month long project.

"The combination of training and practical work experience is translating into new life opportunities for Green Corps participants. Surveys indicate that 60% of graduates go on to further work or study after Green Corps, about one-third of those in natural resource management," Dr Stone said.

Green Corps is the Federal Government's $88.8 million environmental training program, giving young Australian's the opportunity to make a contribution to the environment, in return for practical training and work experience in natural resource management.

Over the next four years 6,800 trainee places will be offered to young Australian's aged between 17 and 20 years.

"To date Green Corps has been spectacularly successful in Tasmania. Around 10% of all projects have been completed in country and city locations across Tasmania," Dr Stone said.

"We are looking to build on this success over the next four years, by more closely linking Green Corps with the priorities of the Natural Heritage Trust and by encouraging the community to nominate more built heritage projects."

The next round of Green Corps applications close on 29 September, with further applications called every 10 weeks thereafter.

Green Corps application forms are available from the Australian Trust for Conservation Volunteers on telephone freecall 1800 633 844 or on the Internet at http://www.atcv.com.au.

For further information please contact:
Nicole Johnston, Assistant Adviser, 02 6277 2016 or 0419 219 415.

Commonwealth of Australia