Twenty of Queensland’s Green Army participants graduated today near Yungaburra on the Atherton Tablelands from Terrain Natural Resource Management’s Reef Rescue Rehabilitation Project and helped plant 2000 trees to celebrate.
Treasurer and Minister for Employment and Economic Development Andrew Fraser said the participants worked for 22 weeks in two groups, one on sites in the Tablelands and the other on two creeks between Innisfail and Tully.
“Queensland’s Green Army aims to protect and enhance our natural environment and improve community awareness while providing unemployed people with paid work and accredited training,” Mr Fraser said.
“The State Government’s Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative provided $380,000 for the participants’ wages and Terrain NRM organised the project including the materials and equipment with a variety of other groups and landholders.”
Today’s graduation celebration will be held at Bonadio Farm, RN 4776 Gillies Range Road (formerly Gillies Highway), Yungaburra at 10.30am.
Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt said some of the participants had revegetated Liverpool and Moresby Creeks so they could be declared as assets by the local River Improvement Trust.
“One group was working in with Terrain NRM’s professional revegetation team on Barron Catchment Care’s Green Corridor project, which meant the participants learnt how to complete the different tasks asked of them and to a professional standard,” Mr Pitt said.
“It was great to see members of the community come out for the tree planting today and even better to have the Green Army teams clearing weeds, collecting seeds and revegetating sites throughout our region on this project.”
Terrain NRM Area Team Manager Penny Scott said the project aimed to assist local Traditional Owners in particular and had provided all participants with valuable experience, training and support.
“This project has already achieved a lot but the Green Army participants are keen to turn this start into ongoing employment,” Ms Scott said.
“We have already employed one of the participants on our professional team through a Skilling Queenslanders for Work Traineeship.
“The work the two groups completed has helped landholders, community groups and the wider public better understand what actions they can take and how it can improve environmental conditions downstream and out to the Great Barrier Reef.”
Queensland’s Green Army is a $57 million State Government investment that will employ 3,000 Queenslanders over three years on projects of environmental importance. For more information or to check your eligibility and register your interest in joining a project visit www.greenarmy.qld.gov.au
Queensland’s Green Army is part of the Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative.
During 2010/11 the Queensland Government will invest $106 million in the Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative to give an estimated 24,000 long-term unemployed and underemployed people job related assistance and skills training to maximise labour force participation and increase Queensland’s prosperity.
Twelve months after receiving assistance 66 per cent of participants are in employment or further training.
The Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative is part of the State Government’s $1 billion Queensland Skills Plan which aims to provide individuals and industry with the skills and workforce for the 21st Century.
For more information on the Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative visit www.employment.qld.gov.au or call 1300 369 925.