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The Hon Dr Sharman Stone MP
Federal Member for Murray
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister
for the Environment and Heritage


21 January 2000

DAREBIN CREEK GETS 'GREEN TEAM' MAKEOVER


Interested in the helping the environment? Think about joining Green Corps is the message from Dr Sharman Stone MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Environment and Heritage.

Dr Stone announced today that Darebin Creek would be the site of Melbourne's newest Green Corps project, and has called on young people in the area to apply for the 10 positions up for grabs.

"Young Victorian's who take up the Green Corps challenge will learn new skills, gain valuable work experience and self-confidence, and help rehabilitate the local environment," Sharman Stone said.

"It's twenty-six weeks of dirty, often backbreaking work, but the results for the young people and for the environment are tremendous."

Over the next six months 10 volunteers aged between 17 and 20 years, will plant 26,000 trees and shrubs, build 900 metres of pathways, and conduct a flora and fauna survey. Their goal - to rehabilitate native tree, grass and waterplant communities along the creek bank and improve fauna habitat.

This physical labour will be supplemented by 134 hours of accredited training in first aid, health and safety, environmental audit, land conservation and weed control techniques.

Depending on their age and educational qualifications, participants receive a training wage of between $170 and $270 per week.

Last year in a similar project, a Green Corps team rehabilitated nearby Diamond Creek, planting 4,000 trees and conducting water quality monitoring along a 5km stretch of creek frontage damaged by pollution, erosion and weed infestation.

Dr Stone said the prospects for Green Corps graduates were excellent whether they chose to pursue a career in natural resource management or further their education and training.

"Some 46% of graduates are successful in finding jobs and another 21% pursue further study or training. About one-third of those find environmental jobs as park rangers, council environment officers, and one group of young entrepreneurs started a successful landscaping business," Sharman Stone said.

"To date Green Corps teams around the country have planted more than 2 million trees, collected over 2.3 tons of native seed and constructed 576kms of fencing, putting them at the forefront of natural resource management and protection in Australia."

The Green Corps program was recently extended by the Federal Government for an additional four years. The extra $88.8 million in funding will provide 6,800 new places for environmental trainees.

For further information about Green Corps please contact the Australian Trust for Conservation Volunteers in Melbourne on 03 9686 5557 or on-line at www.atcv.com.au.

Media Inquiries:
Nicole Johnston, Assistant Adviser, 02 6277 2016 or 0419 219 415

Commonwealth of Australia