Topics: Call for applications under Round 3 of the Green Army Programme
To Mayor Tim Overall, to Mark from Campbell Page, to Phil Harrison from Conservation Volunteers, to our representatives from Skillset, in particular to Peter Hendy, who’s the local member here in Queanbeyan – the Member for Eden-Monaro, Bob Baldwin, the Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment – but especially, most importantly to our Green Army participants. Led by Kate and Rodney, people such as Sharna, young guys from the Queanbeyan area, from the Yass area, from Newcastle.
It’s a real privilege to be here today. What have we heard? We’ve heard young people who have said we love the work, we’re learning, we’re getting First Aid training, we’re getting certificates and in particular, they’re creating a pathway for themselves. Green Army is about young people making the future for the environment and for themselves. So it’s been one of the great privileges of my time in Parliament to work with and meet young people such as these today and you are exactly the future that we want to see.
This project is about rehabilitating the landscape. I know we came out with the Mayor and Peter before the election, we imagined what would happen and it’s exceeded our expectations. At the moment, there are 85 projects on the ground. There are another 110 due to come on the ground in the coming weeks and months and I’m delighted to announce today that Round 3 of Green Army is open for tenders.
It will be open until March 17. Next year, there will be 500 projects on the ground. The year after, 750 projects and it will continue to build until we get to 1,500 projects and 15,000 young people a year. That’s an incredible number of young people doing good things for the environment.
The other thing I want to announce today and this great news is that as we move into the coming weeks when Round 2 of successful projects will be released, the pilot programmes that are going to be rolled over and Kate, I am happy to say that there will be a Round 2 Queanbeyan project and Rodney, I’m happy to say that there will be a Round 2 Yass project.
And the reason that’s happening is because you’ve done such a good job on the ground, you’ve won the confidence of the providers, you’ve won the confidence of the Federal Environment Department, Bob and myself and so working in the communities, we’re hearing that the elders in the communities are saying to the young people – this is a great job. Well this is our way of saying that’s right – you’ve done a great job, we’re going to for a Round 2 and you should all be incredibly proud of yourselves.
The other thing I just want to mention is that Rodney is a success story. Rodney is a great example. From Yass, he was a Green Corp participant five years ago; he was an early participant in the Green Army. He has graduated to being a team leader and that is precisely the sort of pathway that we want to make available to each one.
Some of you may go on to work with the New South Wales Parks Service, some of you may go on to work in landscape gardening, some may go into farming, some may say I’ve had this great experience in the environment, but I want to do something else. Others might follow Rodney’s path and become team leaders because we’re going from the teams that we have now to 1,500 teams over the coming years.
So we’re going to need qualified, energetic, enthusiastic young people. So the Green Army’s a success. It’s a human success, it’s an environment success, it’s well ahead of schedule, well ahead of what we’d anticipated and it’s great to see young people making a future for themselves and for the environment. Peter?
Thank you very much Minister and Parliamentary Secretary Bob Baldwin. It’s great for both of you as frontbenchers to come here to Queanbeyan today and to visit Eden-Monaro. I think the Green Army project is one of those things that’s practical environmentalism, but it’s also a training programme.
It’s exactly the sort of thing we need in regional Australia. I’m very much overjoyed to hear that the Queanbeyan project will be continued for another year and so thank you very much Minister and for the work you have been doing.