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Flood employment program gets underway

APPLICATIONS are now open for flood affected farmers and rural workers to join the Mallee Flood Recovery Environmental Employment Program.

Flood employment program gets underway

Weed control carried out on previous employment program

The program is being managed by the Mallee Catchment Management Authority (CMA) and is one of six running in flood affected areas of the state under the Victorian Government’s $6.15 million Flood Recovery Employment Program. It will provide work for food and fibre producers, as well as rural workers, who were directly affected by the floods earlier this year.

Work will be offered on a casual, part-time basis, with employees given the added flexibility of being able to rotate on and off the program in order to continue work on their own properties. The program will run for 12 months and participant numbers will vary according to seasonal demands and work programs.

The Mallee Catchment Management Authority (CMA) is running the local program, which will see participants working on public land to restore and protect areas of environmental importance.

Mallee CMA Board chair, Joan Burns, has encouraged people to lodge their applications urgently to ensure they are part of the first intake.

“This employment program offers local producers and farm workers a way to earn an income, while still being able to focus on continuing important work on the farm, such as pruning blocks or preparing for cropping,” she said.“At the same time, it is an opportunity to ensure some flood recovery works can be completed at environmentally important areas.

”Those employed under the program will work as part of a work crew on jobs such as controlling erosion; fencing; weed control; cleaning up flood damaged drainage infrastructure; native plant seed collection; and river track rationalisation.

The Mallee CMA is working closely with partners such as the Department of Sustainability and Environment, Department of Primary Industries, Parks Victoria and Lower Murray Water to develop the work schedule for the employment program.

“We are planning to offer participants three full days of work each week, which will allow them to continue work on their farms during the rest of the week,” Ms Burns said.

“The first intake of employees will begin work in the region next month.”

More information on the Mallee Flood Recovery Environmental Employment Program and Expression of Interest packs are available from the Mallee CMA on 5051 4377.

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