Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Media Release - Coalition Green Army Pledge to Warburton Trail - 21 August 2013


A Coalition Government will include the Warburton Trail 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 Warburton Trail 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 along a 40 km stretch of the Warburton Trail between Lilydale and Warburton:

· Protecting the natural and cultural heritage values of the Warburton Rail Trail by replacing signage and bollards and restoring vandalised assets

· Rectifying drainage problems and engage in weed control through mowing and slashing

· Conducting in maintenance work on historic railway stations along the Trail

· Implementing minor surface repairs and fence maintenance

· Assisting local property owners with weed control

These Green Army field works help to restore and maintain 143 hectares of Rail Trail Reserve that links the local townships of Lilydale, Mt Evelyn, Wandin, Seville, Woori Yallock, Launching Place, Yarra Junction, Millgrove, Wesburn and Warburton. The Rail Trail is an important public asset that is used by cyclists, walkers and horse riders for recreational and community benefit.

The Trail Reserve constitutes an important ecological corridor that connects the Dandenong Ranges foothills around Mt Evelyn to the Great Dividing Range foothills in the Upper Yarra Valley. It passes along a fertile river valley that features native grasslands, wetlands and orchids.

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, the Warburton Rail Trail was chosen as an optimal Green Army site for the Casey electorate.

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.

21 August 2013

Media Contact –Ted Lapkin 0411 22 1392

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