Release type: Media Release

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Minister O’Connor visits Green Corps Project in Fremantle

Minister for Employment Participation, Brendan O’Connor, today visited a Green Corps project that is addressing environmental degradation issues in Fremantle and Bayswater.

Mr O’Connor and the Member for Fremantle, Melissa Parke, joined participants from theFremantle to Bayswater: Educating Youth in urban recreational managementproject at Booyeembara Park in Fremantle to see the benefit of the works.

“This project is giving participants a great opportunity to develop practical skills for future employment, while creating links with community groups,” Mr O’Connor said.

“It is also a project which will see the skilling of Perth’s next generation of environmental workers. They will gain knowledge and experience that makes them ideal potential employees with Local Government, State Agencies and Natural Resource Management bodies.

The project includes rehabilitating bushland, restoring coastal dunes, engaging in habitat restoration and controlling weeds. Participants are also preparing sites for planting, mulching degraded pathways, collecting seeds and erecting fences to control access to sensitive areas.

The activities have been designed to give participants an understanding of how to manage the impacts on the environment resulting from human usage and habitation of an urban coastal area.

Green Corps is a federally funded program which provides young people aged17-20 with the opportunity to participate in projects that conserve, preserve and restore Australia’s environment and cultural heritage.

Member for Fremantle, Melissa Parke said the project was a welcome joint venture with the Cities of Fremantle and Bayswater which would environmentally enhance a number of highly valued open spaces, including beaches and parks.

“This is a significant community project that will improve a range of local public spaces, while it provides our young people with training for important green jobs,” Ms Parke said. “It’s an investment in their future, and in our future as a community.”

Mr O’Connor said that in line with its election commitment, the Australian Government had reviewed the current employment services including the Green Corps program.

“Following extensive consultation, the Government has designed a new, streamlined employment services system that will provide more tailored services to job seekers,” he said.

“Under the new employment services system which begins on 1 July 2009, Green Corps activities will continue as part of work experience for job seekers.”