Council, State initiative to see local bushland transformed
Twelve bushland projects across the Lockyer Valley are earmarked for an overhaul, all thanks to a joint initiative between Lockyer Valley Regional Council and the Palaszczuk State Government.
Council has successfully partnered with Challenge Employment and Training to deliver a Skilling Queenslanders for Work (SQW), Work Skills Traineeship program.
The State Government-funded project is designed to provide work and training for unemployed and disadvantaged residents of the Lockyer Valley. Work sites are located across the Lockyer Valley region, including Brightview, Regency Downs, Withcott, Placid Hills, Gatton and Laidley. The sites are all park reserves owned and maintained by Council.
Lockyer Valley Environment Portfolio Councillor Michael Hagan said the 20-week program will see 15 eligible job seekers complete a Certificate I in Conservation and Land Management (CaLM).
“Council developed a detailed scope of works for the program, in consultation with local community groups.
“At the two main project sites, Lake Apex in Gatton and Narda Lagoon, Laidley, a total of approximately 1,000m2 of land will be revegetated with 500 native tube stock plants.
“At the other project sites, activities will involve site survey, monitoring and weed control, with assisted natural regeneration of native species over a total area of 55 hectares.
“Council will supervise the program and provide materials including herbicide, sprayers and native plant tube stock for revegetation and environmental restoration works,” Cr Hagan said.
The program was only two weeks into its works schedule when COVID-19 restrictions hit in March. It recommenced last month, following the easing of restrictions. Challenge Employment and Training have implemented a range of social distancing and hygiene measures at the work sites to ensure the safety of the trainees and members of the public who use the project sites for recreation purposes.
Cr Hagan said it was hoped the program would help to make the region’s reserves safe and enjoyable places to access and spend time in.
“The Lockyer Valley is an ideal location for tourists and visitors to come for a day trip, or make a long weekend given our proximity to Brisbane and the Gold Coast and this program will only strengthen our standing as a preferred destination for tourists and visitors.
“As a Council, we are committed to improving the ecological quality of our valuable natural outdoor areas and increasing opportunities for nature-based recreation activities in the region and we thank the Palaszczuk State Government for partnering with us to do just that,” Cr Hagan said.
Trainees work an eight-hour day, weekdays. Challenge will engage, supervise, train and remunerate all trainees and a supervisor, and will endeavour to gain employment for all the participants with local businesses at the end of the program.
Skilling Queenslanders for Work provides skills development, training and job opportunities to unemployed, disengaged or disadvantaged Queenslanders through a suite of targeted skills and training programs.
For further information, contact Council on 1300 005 872