Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Media Release - Coaltion Green Army Pledge to Yarra Valley - 20 August 2013

A Coalition Government will include a range of environmentally important locations throughout the Yarra Valley in the first stage of its Green Army initiative. This represents just one chapter in the Coalition’s commitment to build a 15,000-person strong Green Army that will conduct environmental work throughout Australia.

A Coalition Government will begin deployment of 250 Green Army teams throughout Australia in July 2014. By 2018-19 the number of Green Army projects nationwide will increase to 1,500. The Yarra Valley Landscape Protection Program will be one of those 250 first wave Green Army projects.

A Green Army field team composed of one supervisor and nine young trainees between the ages of 17 and 24 will focus on projects in the following smaller areas throughout the Yarra Valley:

· Yarra Flats Billabong

· Margaret Lewis Reserve

· Queens Park Healesville

· Coronation Park Healesville

· Mt Toolebewong Landcare sites

· Steels Creek Landcare sites

· Mt Evelyn Environment Protection Association sites

· Yarra Valley Tree Group sites

These Green Army field works will work on the revegetation of these reserves, including weed control and remnant vegetation. Improving water quality and pest animal control is also part of the program.

Green Army participants will be paid a training wage for the 26-week duration of the project. Each week the team will spend four days in the field while undergoing training on the fifth day. This makes the Green Army into a great opportunity for school leavers or gap year students to earn income while qualifying for an environmental certificate, if they so desire.

After consultation with the Yarra Ranges Council, these local reserves were chosen as optimal Green Army sites within the Federal Electorate of Casey. The following organisations – Mt Toolebewong Landcare, Steels Creek Landcare, the Mt Evelyn Environment Protection and Progress Association, the Yarra Valley Tree Group, Friends of the Margaret Lewis Reserve and the Healesville Environment Watch Incorporated – were also instrumental in helping to identify the best projects to improve the local environment in the Yarra Valley.

This is exactly what the Green Army will be all about – practical work to improve the local environment and help local communities. This project will also provide a terrific opportunity for local young people to be part of the first intake of the Green Army.

This is a very a good start, but there’s much more to be done. If a Coalition Government is elected I’ll be fighting to secure even more Green Army projects for our local area in the time ahead.

The Coalition’s policy to build a 15,000 strong Green Army is part of our Real Solutions Plan to build a strong, prosperous economy and a safe, secure Australia.

20 August 2013

Media Contact Ted Lapkin – 0411 22 1392

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