Ten young local residents will spend the next 26 weeks cleaning up local bush areas in order to restore the dunes on Hickey Island near Maclean, thanks to a new Australian Government funded Green Corps project.

Member for Page Janelle Saffin welcomed the Green Corps project, saying it will improve the natural habitat for threatened species in the community.

“This project will give these young people the chance to help restore Hickey Island and the bushland around Maclean,” Ms Saffin said.

“Their efforts will bring direct and valuable benefits to the local community by improving the ecology of the area, and contributing to the community and environmental value.”

Green Corps provides young people aged 17–20 with the opportunity to participate in projects that conserve, preserve and restore Australia’s natural environment and cultural heritage.

Once completed, the local project will add to the long list of successful outcomes from the Green Corps program across Australia.

Nationally, Green Corps participants have propagated and planted more than 15 million trees; erected more than 8000 kilometres of fencing; collected more than 11,000 kilograms of seeds; and built or maintained more than 5000 kilometres of walking tracks or boardwalks.

Ms Saffin said that in line with its election commitment, the Government has 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 for job seekers,” Ms Saffin 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.”

For more information on Green Corps visit www.greencorps.gov.au