Green Army program completed, program discontinued

Wingecarribee Shire mayor Ken Halstead congratulated Green Army program participants at their graduation in Burradoo. Photo: WSC
Wingecarribee Shire mayor Ken Halstead congratulated Green Army program participants at their graduation in Burradoo. Photo: WSC

After six months of intensive environmental work on the Wingecarribee River, the second round of Green Army participants will down tools.

The Green Army is a hands-on, practical, grassroots environmental action program that supports local environmental and heritage conservation projects across Australia. Campbell Page is one of the Service Providers that delivers the Green Army Program for the Australian government.

Campbell Page national Green Army program manager Kristie Kelly, members of the Bong Bong Common Management Committee and Wingecarribee Shire mayor councillor Ken Halstead attended the graduation in Burradoo.

“The young people that worked on the Green Army should be very proud of what this project has achieved,” Cr Halstead said. “It’s provided them with valuable work skills and has greatly improved the health of the Wingecarribee River, particularly around the popular Bong Bong walking track.”

During stage two of the Upper Wingecarribee River Rehabilitation Project, Green Army participants focused on rehabilitation of the riverbank at the Burradoo section of the Wingecarribee River. These works complemented stage one works, which were carried out downstream.

Both stages involved poisoning and removing infestations of environmental weeds including willows, privets, hawthorns, as well as blackberry and Japanese honeysuckle.

They also carried out extensive planting of natives including rushes, shrubs and trees to return the riverbank vegetation to its natural state.

Ms Kelly said the project had delivered several benefits. “Apart from making a significant contribution to the local environment, the team members developed new skills and completed accredited training,” she said.

Mayor Halstead said the team’s efforts were greatly appreciated. “Our entire community should be rightly proud of their efforts,” he said. “They’ve done a fabulous job in restoring and protecting the Wingecarribee River’s ecosystem.”

The Green Army is an Australian Government initiative that taps into local knowledge to meet regional environmental challenges. In the past two years Council has hosted two Green Army projects. The program was recently discontinued.