Joint Media Release with The Hon Duncan Kerr MP, Member for Denison
West Hobart Green Corps project restores urban orchard
Participants undertaking a Green Corps project in west Hobart are restoring a slice of Tasmanian history as well as creating a unique community facility.
The Minister for Employment Participation, Brendan O’Connor, today visited the Valley Street Orchard Green Corps West Hobart project and met with participants.
The orchard is located two kilometres from Hobart city centre and was established in the 1830s by Joseph Samuel Cato who is credited with founding the Tasmanian apple industry as well as developing a number of successful apple varieties including the Crofton apple.
“This is a significant heritage site in Tasmania’s history and still has remnant fruit and nut trees with heritage hedgerows,” Mr O’Connor said.
“Green Corps participants have been restoring and building terraces on the hillside using hand tools and traditional methods.
“They are preparing holes for planting fruit trees, mulching and planting weed retardant vegetables, collecting seeds and propagation, and building compost bins and a garden shed.”
The Member for Denison, Duncan Kerr, said the project was giving participants great opportunities to learn practical and developing personal skills for future employment while creating links with community groups.
“Participants are working with the Valley Street Orchard Community Group which is developing the Hobart Council owned site as a shared community resource,” Mr Kerr said.
Green Corps is an Australian Government initiative that offers young people aged between 17 and 20 the opportunity to participate in projects that conserve, preserve and restore Australia’s natural environment and cultural heritage.
In line with its election commitment, the Australian Government 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.
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.