Nine participants in the Australian Government’s Green Army initiative have completed stage 1 of a vegetation restoration project.
Federal Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker last week presented the participants with certificates and congratulated them on the successful completion of the project.
The participants worked with the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Clarence Valley Council and community groups to restore high conservation value vegetation in and around Yuraygir National Park and at Susan Island in Grafton.
The projects involved the propagation of local plants, to revegetate degraded areas and control weeds, erosion control, beach access and walking track improvements, to protect ecosystems from human impacts.
Mr Hartsuyker said the team had seen first-hand the tangible results of their activities.
“These participants have not only generated real environment and conservation benefits for our community, but they have gained valuable practical training and experience to help them prepare for the workforce, pursue further training or improve their career opportunities.
According to the government’s FAQ sheet, “the Green Army is a voluntary programme for 17-24 year olds, to encourage hands-on, practical grassroots conservation action as a means of addressing environmental and heritage priorities”.
Participants are paid between $608.40 to$987 a fortnight, which less than the minimum wage, depending on age and educational level. The allowance is aligned with the National Training Wage.
Participants, who can obtain Certificate I or II qualifications, are generally engaged full time for up to 30 hours a week for a project lasting between 20 and 26 weeks.
“I encourage all those interested in helping their environment and gaining new skills and training to seek out Green Army opportunities in their region,” Mr Hartsuyker said.