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Green Army marches forward to Banks Street Reserve

20 April, 2015

One of Brisbane’s most environmentally significant nature reserves is benefitting from a dedicated six month environmental program to reduce erosion and improve water quality.

Brisbane City Council, in partnership with the Australian Government, is undertaking a Green Army project at the Banks Street Reserve, which will not only restore the local environment, but also provides young people with environmental conservation skills.

Parks, Environment and Sustainability Chairman, Cr Matthew Bourke said the Banks Street Reserve is a significant regional wetland area that is part of the Brisbane River catchment area.

“The Green Army project involves weed removal and revegetation of the Reserve with native species, as well as stabilising erosion-prone areas,” Cr Bourke said.

“The Banks Street Reserve contains several significant ecosystems and can play a vital role in the health of the Brisbane River, this project will reduce the amount of sediment entering downstream waterways and strengthened natural corridor linkages for Brisbane’s urban wildlife.”

The Reserve was nominated for the Green Army program to build on the work that has been done by local groups in conjunction with Council through the Habitat Brisbane program and by the local catchment group.

“This project follows years of rehabilitation work in conjunction with environmental groups, the Seils Park Bushcare Group, Brisbane Rainforest Action and Information Network and SOWN and was one of several sites that were part of Council’s Two Million Trees Project,” Cr Bourke said.

Federal Member for Brisbane, Hon Teresa Gambaro MP, said that the Green Army program is a national initiative giving 17 to 24 year old participants the chance to work towards a recognised qualification whilst getting practical experience in environmental and conservation fields.

“The program is aimed to provide young people with skills and experience to improve their employment prospects while participating in projects that benefit the local environment,” Ms Gambaro said.

“These initiatives will educate young people about environmental conservation as we work towards restoring vegetation, stabilising erosion-prone areas and encouraging species retention in Brisbane.

“The Green Army is making a real difference to the environment and local communities, and it will continue to grow and deliver positive results,” Ms Gambaro said.

Council will deliver 15 environmental projects in the first and second rounds of the Federal Government’s Green Army initiative with seven projects due to be completed in 2015.

Cr Bourke said works began at the Banks Street Reserve site in February and were now 40 per cent complete, with the project expected to be finished in July.

“Green Army projects support a number of other our current Council initiatives including Conservation Reserves Management, the Wipe Out Weeds Project and Improve Ecological Health and Liveability of Waterways scheme,” he said.

Ms Gambaro said the Australian Government had allocated $525 million over the next four years towards Green Army projects across Australia to help local communities protect and care for their habitat and heritage.

For more information visit www.environment.gov.au or call the Department of the Environment on 1800 780 730.

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