Monday, 23 February 2015
Questions without Notice
Green Army Program
My question is to the Minister for the Environment. Will the minister update the House on the progress of the Green Army and how this new initiative will provide young Australians with practical skills and training whilst improving the environment in my electorate?
Mr Perrett interjecting—
I would particularly like to thank the member for Gilmore, who has been a great advocate of the Green Army projects. She has in her own electorate already projects underway in Killalea State Park and the Bundanon Trust. She has the Shoalhaven City Council Central Shoalhaven project coming. And only recently we have had announcements of new projects in Bundanoon, the South Coast wetlands and Coomonderry wetlands.
I have to say this: after pink batts and Green Loans, is anybody responsible? Are there any of you who claim responsibility for pink batts or Green Loans? I do not think so. No takers. After the citizens assembly and cash-for-clunkers—was that one of yours, Bill, cash-for-clunkers?—after what we saw from the previous government—
Mr Perrett interjecting—
it is great to see real environmental projects that are helping young people, helping the environment, providing skills, repairing wetlands, building boardwalks, helping sand dunes be recovered, taking care of threatened species and doing practical work on the ground.
If you want a sense of where these projects are at now, already we have hit the 100-project mark on the ground around the country. Over 500 have now been announced. These projects are around the country. If we look just around this chamber, we see seven projects in the electorate of Blair, three projects in the electorate of Brand, four in the electorate of Cunningham, four in Fremantle, five in Lalor and four in Maribyrnong, among others. So we would invite people from all sides of this chamber to champion young people, to support the skills, to support the environmental work that is occurring on the ground.
"I couldn't spend the whole day in an office," he said.
"With this opportunity, I get to help the planet and learn practical skills at the same time."
Chris Hockey, of Tottenham:
"Really, being able to get some skills to take away put into farming for myself down the track on my block of land is the main thing I want to get out of it," he said.
… … …
"There is nothing better."
This is the approach and the experience that young people are having around the country. We are ahead of our target, Prime Minister. We said we would have 250 projects on the ground this year. I can inform the House that we are likely to exceed that. We will be ahead of time. We will be achieving more than we had said. What is most important is that you can help the country, you can help young people get skills and you can do it without having the environmental project disaster which we saw with pink batts and Green Loans. It is possible to have good environmental projects. That is what the Green Army is, and I would urge you all to support those in your local area.