Waterway

Drought Employment Program in Full Swing

Wednesday 31 January, 2007
The Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority's Drought Employment Program is now in full-swing with crews carrying out work to protect and improve the environment at several icon sites across the catchment.

The Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority's Drought Employment Program is now in full-swing with crews carrying out work to protect and improve the environment at several icon sites across the catchment.

About 60 farmers, farm workers and farm service providers affected by the drought, have been employed under the scheme.

GB CMA Chief Executive Officer Bill O'Kane said the benefits of the project were two-fold.

"We are able to pay a wage to people at a time when farms are not producing much because of a water shortage," Mr O'Kane said.

"And we are able to utilize the skills of a highly motivated team of people, which is perfect for our needs as caretaker of the rivers within the catchment.

"We have been impressed by the enthusiasm and skill of the employees whose work will make a lasting contribution to the environment.

"Work so far has included fencing, weeding, rubbish collection and a water savings project."

Current projects include:

  • Weed control, targeting willows and blackberries at Seymour on the Goulburn River, Alexander on the Goulburn River and King Parrot Creek;
  • Constructing bird hides at Gemmill's Swamp near Mooroopna;
  • Weed control and fencing at Kinnairds Wetland, Numurkah; and
  • Fencing off crown land in the Broken-Boosey State Park progressing on to the Broken Creek.

Twelve employees managed by Goulburn-Murray Water are controlling terrestrial weeds including blackberries in the Barmah-Millewa Forest.

Another crew of four supervised by Goulburn-Murray Water, are working on a water savings project in Tatura and Shepparton. This involves maintenance work on metered outlets to ensure accurate water usage is recorded.

Parks Victoria is managing a crew at Yarrawonga to carry out weed control and rubbish collection on the Murray River.

The Drought Employment Program will continue until June. The Program is part of the Victorian Government's drought response package, funded by the Department of Sustainability and Environment.

About $10 million has been provided to CMAs across the state to implement the scheme with $2.7 million provided to the GB CMA.

Release Ends

For more information contact:

Anna Humphris at Impress Publicity 58 212 651 or anna@impresspublicity.com.au

Richard Warburton at GB CMA 58 201 100 or richardw@gbcma.vic.gov.au