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Green Army gets green thumbs up

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RPP FM joined Environment Minister Greg Hunt and conservation volunteers at Chinaman’s Creek for the launch of the Green Army Project.

The Rosebud West site is one of seven areas across the Mornington Peninsula to be rehabilitated over the next 26 weeks. The $525 million nationwide initiative sees teams of young volunteers aged 17 to 24 carry out a range of works including landscaping, revegetation, weed control and eradication, track restoration, and habitat enhancement.

The other sites the Green Army will target include:

*         Red Hill Community Park – landscaping and revegetation

*         Red Hill Rail Trail – weed control

*         Mornington Peninsula National Park – weed eradication, track restoration and revegetation

*         Arthurs Seat State Park – weed control for habitat quality

*         Mt Martha, Balcombe Creek – habitat enhancement

*         Red Hill South Biolink – weed control

Despite Monday’s cold wind and rain, the young volunteers were eager to get their hands dirty. Mr Hunt said the project teaches them about a hands-on approach to the environment and gives them skills for future job opportunities.

“These are young people who are going out for themselves; they’re getting work experience skills, a work ethic, a love of conservation and they’re transforming the landscape,” said Mr Hunt.

Volunteers Lachlan Martin and his two brothers told RPP FM they have an “innate love for the environment” which shows in their enthusiasm as being part of the Green Army project.  They hope to continue working in conservation after the project is finished.

National Operations Manager for Conservation Volunteers Australia, Gerry Surridge said, “Even if they don’t end up working in the conservation industry, they’ll have a very high environmental ethic that they’ll live their lives by.”

Conservation Volunteers Australia will work in collaboration with Landcare and community groups as well as the Mornington Peninsula Shire.
For more information on the Green Army visit http://www.environment.gov.au/land/green-army

Words Laura Sedgwick

Pictured: Minister for Environment The Hon. Greg Hunt and volunteers doing their 'bit' at Rosebud West to help launch the Green Army Project.