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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

17 November 1999

TOWNSVILLE TEEN GREENS HELP REHABILITATE ROSS RIVER


Ten young Queenslanders are leading local efforts to rehabilitate Townsville's Ross River Catchment.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Environment and Heritage, Sharman Stone MP and Federal Member for Herbert, Peter Lindsay MP, today met with members of the team on-site at Louisa Creek to inspect project works to date.

"Over the next six months the team aim to plant 1,000 native trees sourced from locally collected species and propagated at the TCC Rowe's Bay Nursery," Dr Stone said.

"To tourists North Queensland is well know for its magnificent marine environment and access to the Great Barrier Reef. To local residents who live and work in Townsville, the sustainable development and long-term management of Townsville's fragile land and water resources is crucial."

"Healthy waterways and bushland are essential in helping catchments cope in times of extreme environmental crisis. In recent years Townsville has had devastating floods and drought, which took a huge toll on the health of local waterways, native bushland and animals."

"Green Corps teams are helping to rehabilitate degraded areas, as well as building a specialised knowledge base among the young generation for the future management of the region."

As part of their training Green Corps volunteers will also receive 134 hours of accredited training in subjects including first aid, land conservation and restoration, field plant audit and weed control.

"As well as hands-on activities like tree planting and weed control, the team is developing skills in habitat assessment, botanical survey and site planning, learning how to develop local management plans and raising community awareness with brochures and signs," Mr Lindsay said.

"Townsville's young people are learning new skills to help boost their employment prospects and our local environment is receiving extra care and attention it would not otherwise."

Green Corps is the Federal Government's $88.8 million environmental training program giving young Australians 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 Australians aged between 17 and 20 years.

"Green Corps is one of the Federal Government's most successful environmental projects, bringing together local communities, governments and young people to help restore and rehabilitate the environment."

"The funding cycle for Green Corps sees new project applications considered every few months so if you any ideas that will help to restore and protect the environment, indigenous or cultural heritage sites consider nominating the project today," Mr Lindsay said.

Green Corps Application forms are available from Peter Lindsay's office, telephone 4725 2066 or from the Australian Trust for Conservation Volunteers on freecall 1800 633 844 or on the Internet at http://www.atcv.com.au.

For further information please contact:
Nicole Johnston, Dr Stone's Office, 02 6277 2016 or 0419 219 415
Greg Doolan, Peter Lindsay's Office, 07 4725 2066

Commonwealth of Australia