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Green Army could pass the Senate next week

Media Release
Rachel Siewert 13 Jun 2014

The Australian Greens have expressed concern that the Government's Green Army legislation may pass the Senate next week, saying it does not deliver quality long term environmental or employment outcomes.

"The Greens have serious concerns about the Green Army legislation, given its lack of environmental and employment credentials," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens agriculture spokesperson said today.

"The training components of the scheme are not compulsory and I have concerns about the actual number number of hours participants will get.

"For programs like the Green Army to be successful, there needs to be built in mechanisms to ensure all participants get the training and support opportunities that lead to long term job outcomes.

"The proposed scheme only offers short term placements, which are not enough for ensuring people will be helped into work or delivering good environmental outcomes.

"The Green Army is being lauded by the Government as a great thing for the environment and natural resource management, but it's being delivered as Landcare funding for sustainable agriculture is being absolutely gutted.

"The Landcare and NRM groups who would otherwise be providing expert oversight to a scheme such as this are increasingly unlikely to be involved, because a lack of Government funding is stripping away their resources.

"The Greens will not support the Green Army legislation until the serious concerns we have raised are addressed. We made a number of recommendations in our dissenting report to the committee inquiry into the bill and we need to see these issues addressed before we would support this legislation.

"I encourage Senators to really look at this scheme and realise that it will not deliver the outcomes we need to see for jobseekers or the environment," Senator Siewert concluded.

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