Sunday, 18 August 2013

Media Release - Coalition Green Army Pledge to Monbulk - 18 August 2013

A Coalition Government will include Monbulk in a select group of local communities to benefit from 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 Monbulk 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 the following projects in and around Monbulk:

· Improving local walking trails, including the Sassafras Creek Trail to Frank Irvine Reserve and the Monbulk township

· Improving recreational access to bushland around the Monbulk Aquatic Centre

· Supporting the local Monbulk Landcare Group through nest box installation and rehabilitation of the former caravan park

· Assisting local property owners with weed control

These Green Army field works will help preserve one of the Dandenong Range’s most important bio-diversity corridors, protecting threatened species like the Slender Tree Fern, the Skirted Tree Fern and the Mount Dandenong Amphipod.

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, Monbulk was selected as an optimal Green Army site within the Federal Electorate of Casey. The Monbulk Landcare Group, Friends of Sassafras Creek, the Lyrebird Survey Group, Melbourne Water, Parks Victoria and the Community Weed Alliance of the Dandenongs were also instrumental in helping to identify the best projects to improve Monbulk’s local environment.

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 young people in Monbulk 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.

18 August 2013

Media Contact – 0411 22 1392

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