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National Media Release
Ms Trish Worth, MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for
Education, Training and Youth Affairs
Dr Sharman Stone, MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the
Environment and Heritage

25 June 1999

A NEW ERA FOR GREEN CORPS


A 'new contract for a new millennium' was awarded today for the management of the Federal Government's highly successful Green Corps program, giving thousands of young Australians the 'chance of a lifetime' to participate in environmental training projects around the country.

Ms Trish Worth, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Education, Training and Youth Affairs, and Dr Sharman Stone, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, today announced that the Australian Trust for Conservation Volunteers had successfully tendered for stewardship of the Green Corps program over the next three years.

An additional $88.8 million was allocated in the 1999-2000 budget for extension of Green Corps.

"The ATCV will manage more than 5,200 new trainee places for young people, helping them to gain valuable skills while working to restore and protect Australia's natural and cultural heritage," Mrs Worth and Dr Stone said.

The ATCV has managed the program since the Green Corps Program commenced in March 1997.

"During each 6 or 12 month project trainees receive accredited training and 'hands on' work experience which gives them the edge when going onto work or further study."

Green Corps is a voluntary environmental training. Projects are open to all young Australians aged 17-20 years with an interest in the environment and are able to commit to a 6 or 12 month project placement.

"Green Corps has been so successful because each team is made up of young Australians from all walks of life and backgrounds," Mrs Worth and Dr Stone said.

"Green Corps teams work closely with a local organisations such as councils or community groups who sponsor the project. Without the hard work and enthusiasm of Green Corps trainees some of these environmental repair projects might not happen."

Since its commencement more than 300 Green Corps projects have been undertaken in all states and territories, from remote locations in the Northern Territory and Western Australia to inner city locations such as Taronga Zoo in Sydney.

"Green Corps teams have taken part in some really unique conservation and training activities. Projects such as the restoration of the Tasmania's historic Semaphore Stations and Mt Isa's WW2 underground hospital are preserving our built heritage."

"Others like the Big Scrub project near Lismore are repairing pockets of vulnerable remnant vegetation and the Regent Honeyeater Habitat Project in Wangaratta, helping to protect endangered native birds."

Although projects vary enormously depending on their location, typical activities include tree planting, plant propagation, conducting flora and fauna surveys, native seed collection, constructing walking tracts, vermin proof fencing and interpretative signage, building nesting boxes, erosion control, weeding and repairing degraded streams.

"In the first two years of the program alone Green Corps teams have planted more than 1.3 million trees, collected over 1 ton of native seed and built 158 kms of walking track. This is a fantastic result for the environment and is building up a practical skills base for Australia's future natural resource mangers," Dr Stone and Ms Worth said.

For further information about joining Green Corps please telephone the national freecall hotline on 1800 633 844.

For further information please contact:
Nicole Johnston, Sharman Stone's Office, 0419 219 415 (media inquires for VIC, QLD,TAS, ACT)
Sasha Pendal, Trish Worth's Office, 0412 544 203 (media inquires for SA, NSW, WA, NT)

Commonwealth of Australia