$10m injection into job-creating Great Barrier Reef plan
THE Pew Charitable Trusts, NRM Regions Queensland and Queensland Water and Land Carers have welcomed today's announcement that the Queensland Government will invest $10 million to deliver practical conservation and land management jobs in the Great Barrier Reef catchment.
The jobs boost, announced today by Premier Palaszczuk and Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch, is intended to provide unemployed and underemployed Queenslanders with temporary nature-based employment as the economy recovers from COVD-19.
"This investment recognises the opportunity to provide practical work and economic benefits for Queensland's regional and remote communities to aid economic recovery, while leaving lasting benefits for Queensland's environment, agriculture and nature-based tourism industry," Pew Charitable Trusts deputy director Pepe Clarke said.
"These jobs will also deliver positive environmental outcomes such as improved resilience to natural disasters, improved water quality, habitat restoration, and weed and pest management.
"Unemployment is likely to increase when JobKeeper ends, leaving hundreds of thousands of people out of work across Australia. We encourage the Queensland Government to build on today's announcement by making further investment in nature-based jobs as the full economic impacts of COVID-19 become clearer in coming months."
CEO of NRM Regions Queensland Chris Norman said there was very real opporunity in the environmental sector.
"A coalition of conservation and farming organisations have been working with the Queensland Government to highlight the opportunity for jobs in the conservation and land management sector to deliver practical, hands-on work for regional and remote communities," he said.
"We welcome the Palaszczuk Government's announcement of this funding and encourage them to consider making further investments in protecting, conserving and managing our iconic natural assets.
Board member and spokesperson for Queensland Water and Land Carers Shelly McArdle said the project would help to strengthen the community.
"In regional areas this sort of work not only provides opportunities for young people, indigenous people and the general community but the connections that get made build resilience in the community," she said.
"After all that has happened with flood, drought, fire and now COVID, this gives our community a welcome lifeline. This sort of hands-on positive work is exactly what we need to improve community well being."
The Pew Charitable Trusts, NRM Regions Queensland and Queensland Water and Land Carers are part of a coalition of more than 70 conservation and farming organisations who came together to develop a plan for economic stimulus through a large scale conservation and land management program.
The coalition released a report on the economic benefits of the proposed program earlier this month.