Australia launches 'Green Army' for environment

2014-08-02 12:30
Steam rising from a Fumarole, surrounded by mosses and other lifeforms in Antarctica. (Peter Convey, AFP)

Steam rising from a Fumarole, surrounded by mosses and other lifeforms in Antarctica. (Peter Convey, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Sydney - Australia on Saturday launched its 'Green Army' which plans to recruit up to 15 000 young people for projects to conserve and rehabilitate the environment, the biggest land care mobilisation in the nation's history.

Under the scheme, teams of young people will do work such as planting trees, restoring koala habitats, cleaning up creeks and rivers, conserving cultural heritage sites and monitoring threatened species.

"The Green Army is on the march from today", Prime Minister Tony Abbott told reporters at a site in Sydney which will be revitalised through the initiative.

"It's the largest environmental workforce Australia has ever mobilised for land care."

Abbott, who once described climate change science as "absolute crap" and whose government recently abolished a carbon tax aimed at reducing greenhouse emissions, said the Green Army would make a practical difference.

"I regard myself as a conservationist, always have, always will", he said. "There can be no more practical conservation measure than this Green Army work here and, increasingly, right around our country."

Barrier reef

Abbott urged young people between 17 and 24 with a passion for the environment to sign on to the scheme under which they will spend six months on a project and be paid a wage similar to that of a traineeship of about US$9.30-$14.90 an hour.

Environmental groups have been critical of Abbott's government which last month gave the environmental go ahead for a massive coal mine in central Queensland.

In June, conservationists hailed a Unesco decision to reject an Australian government bid to revoke World Heritage status for parts of the Tasmanian Wilderness.

The UN's cultural body has also said Australia's Great Barrier Reef could be put on a list of endangered World Heritage Sites if more is not done to protect it.

The reef is under growing pressure not just from climate change and the destructive coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish, but agricultural runoff and rampant coastal development linked to mining.

Environment Minister Greg Hunt said the Green Army scheme would start with 196 projects but the government hopes that there will be 1 500 projects around the country over the next three years.

"It's about projects around Australia, which will help improve river banks, revegetate, encourage threatened species' recovery, shore up sand dunes, be engaged in the health and rehabilitation of both urban and rural landscapes", he said.

"Secondly, it's about ensuring that young people have training and work skills and opportunity."

Read more on:    unesco  |  australia  |  environment

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.