Burpengary Creek will be one of the first sites to benefit from the Coalition’s 15,000-strong Green Army.
Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment Simon Birmingham today announced that, if elected, a Coalition government would undertake a major riparian repair and boardwalk project along the fringe of creek.
The work will involve the removal of lantana and other pest flora – and revegetation with 100,000 native tree and shrub plantings propagated at the nursery of the Caboolture Region Environmental Education Centre (CREEC).
The new boardwalk would climb 6m into the tree canopy to give visitors an overview of the creek and divert them from directly impacting the eroded banks.
“The Coalition’s Green Army policy will assemble 15,000 people – the largest standing environmental workforce in Australia’s history – to repair riverbanks, creek beds, sand dunes and mangrove habitat and restore and conserve other flora and fauna,” Senator Birmingham said.
“Participants will be aged 18-24 and receive a training wage, valuable work skills and formal qualifications in environmental remediation.
“The Burpengary Creek Riparian Repair Green Army Project is exactly what the Green Army will be about – practical work that improves the local environment and helps improve communities.
“This project will provide a terrific opportunity for young people in the electorate of Longman to be part of the first intake of the Green Army.”
For the past year, federal MP for Longman Wyatt Roy has been working with the local community to identify critical Green Army targets.
“After extensive consultation with our key environmental groups and stakeholders, I have fought to prioritise the Burpengary Creek project,” Mr Roy said.
“The catchment and adjacent areas reveal an alarming count of threatened species: 46 plants and 60 animals.
“CREEC’s wonderful volunteer group, Friends of CREEC, point out that this Green Army project would help these species recover. The plants under threat would be bolstered by the nursery propagation of their species and subsequent re-planting. The vulnerable riverbank fauna would then have more protective cover to rebuild their numbers.
“The rampant weed growth – strangling food, cover and nesting trees – has resulted in bird species around the creek plummeting from 123 to 45 over recent years.
Formerly, there were 127 butterfly species along Burpengary Creek. Now, the figure is around 40.”
Mr Roy said Burpengary Creek’s parlous state of erosion had been exacerbated by flooding. He said urbanisation had left only six per cent of natural vegetation within the footprint of the greater Caboolture area.
He added that other significant local Green Army proposals were under consideration.
“I have received many quality applications and I will continue to fight for more Green Army projects for our community,” Mr Roy said.
“At the same time as improving the local environment, the Green Army will foster volunteerism, teamwork, local ownership and community spirit in the young people who participate.”