5 October 2015
The Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment Management Authority (PPWCMA) was thrilled to join with Conservation Volunteers Australia at the Organ Pipes National Park to celebrate the graduation of Green Army participants who have been working on the ‘Greening the Maribyrnong’ project in the Jacksons Creek and Emu Creek escarpments. The Green Army is supported by the Australian Government and is a hands-on environmental action program that supports local environment and heritage conservation projects across Australia. Over the past six months, this Green Army team has been reducing invasive weeds along Jacksons, Deep and Emu Creeks as well as the Maribyrnong River into which they each flow. They have also been working on linking existing fragments of remnant vegetation with new plantings of native species. Over the winter planting season, the Green Army sprayed over 13,000 weedy spots spread across twelve different private properties. They then planted and guarded more than 7,000 tube stock on nine of these properties. Federal Minister for the Environment, Hon Greg Hunt MP, said, “This Green Army team is yet another example of how the Green Army is making a real difference for the local environment and the community,” “The Green Army team have not only generated environmental benefits, but they have also gained valuable practical training and experience to help them prepare for the future and improve their career opportunities.” The grounding provided by the Green Army experience is expected to be helpful for team members to gain future employment. Even whilst this team were on the ground, original Team Leader Clem gained full time employment with the Hobsons Bay City Council as a result of his experience with the Green Army. One of the participants, Alex, was then promoted to the role of Team Leader. PPWCMA Chief Executive Officer, David Buntine, praised the work of the team, saying, “As the project sponsor for this project, we have been thrilled with the work that they have achieved. Their work has helped to complement other environmental projects being undertaken in the region by us, Councils, Government agencies, community groups and landholders. We wish the graduating team members all the best for their future endeavours”. For further information on the Green Army programme, visit www.environment.gov.au/green-army.