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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

29 March 1999


Popular local tourist attraction, Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, is undergoing a 'facelift' by a team of 10 young environmental volunteers as part of the Federal Government's $41.6 million Green Corps program.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Environment and Heritage, Sharman Stone MP, rolled up her shirt-sleeves and joined the Green Corps team who are involved in repairing 3 kms of walking tracks, building 1 km of fencing and extensive weed control on reserve wetlands and at Rock Valley.

"Parts of the reserve have been badly affected by water damage and constant foot traffic."

"The Green Corps team is particularly focusing on repairing and improving the educational walking tracks and fencing, so human visitors can continue to enjoy the reserve without disturbing the pristine bushland or native wildlife," Sharman Stone said.

The Green Corps team has also planted over 1,000 Poa seedlings (native grass), erected new signs and painted walking track bridges around the reserve.

"Sustainably managing our fragile land and water resources involves a lot of time and hard work. Tasks like fencing and weeding are vitally important because they help preserve the natural landscape, protect wildlife habitats and food sources, as well as reducing the damaging effects of pests, introduced species and feral animals."

As well as hands-on environmental activities, the Canberra Green Corps trainees will undergo 134 hours of accredited training in First Aid, Occupation Health and Safety, Environmental Audit and Introduction to Land Conservation and Restoration Industry.

Green Corps is a full-time, six-month commitment open to any young person aged between 17 and 20 years. Over a three-year period, Green Corps will help 3,500 young Australians combine their passion for environmental conservation with practical work experience in natural resource management.

Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, located 40kms south-west of Canberra, covers and area of 5450 hectares. The reserve is includes an extensive network of educational walking tracks and wildlife reserves, enabling visitors to experience first-hand native wildlife in natural surroundings.

The reserve is home to large colonies of free-range wildlife including eastern grey kangaroos, echidnas, platypus, koalas, and over 160 bird species.

The Reserve's geological history dates back between 500 and 450 million years. The area also has important indigenous cultural values, with 10 known aboriginal rock shelters including Birrigai rock shelter used around 21,000 years ago.

"I am really impressed with the enthusiasm and dedication of this group of young people. They are giving 100% and their efforts are helping to improve and protect the environment. They are environmental managers of the future, in training today," Sharman Stone said.

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

Commonwealth of Australia