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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

19 August 1999

GREEN CORPS TEAM HARD-AT-WORK IN SUBURBAN MELBOURNE


Ten young Victorians are hard-at-work at Diamond Creek in Melbourne's outer north, to restore the city's fragile urban/rural fringe, Dr Sharman Stone MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Environment and Heritage said during a visit to the project site today.

"Over time the pressures of urban development have taken their toll on this unique river area. Some of Victoria's most endangered species, including the Charming Spider Orchid, were once thriving in this area. Now only two colonies, about 45 plants, are left."

Dr Stone said the Diamond Creek Restoration Project aimed to plant 4000 trees and restore a 5km stretch of creek frontage damaged by water pollution, riverbank erosion, weed invasion and the loss of native vegetation.

The project involves water quality monitoring across 11 creek sites, replanting of native trees and plants, construction of rabbit proof coups and activities to protect and enhance the wetlands habitat.

"The project has the wholehearted support of the local council, schools and community who will continue to build on the Green Corps team's hard work in the future," 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.

"The Diamond Creek Green Corps Restoration Project is a great example of how urban communities can get involved in natural resource management right in their own backyards."

"We also want to remind everyone of the need for Green Corps projects to be nominated by the local community from areas throughout Melbourne and Victoria. The next round of applications close on 29 September," Dr Stone said.

Guidelines and application forms for Green Corps are available from the Australian Trust for Conservation Volunteers on telephone freecall 1800 633 844 or 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