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Recovery program flooding with numbers

A total of 43 irrigators are now taking part in the Mallee Flood Recovery Environmental Employment Program.

Recovery program flooding with numbers

Works completed at the Millewa Pioneer Park, Meringur.

The program began in June this year with an initial intake of 16 participants. This has since grown to 43 flood and rainfall affected irrigators from within the Mallee Catchment Management Authority (CMA) region.

The project aims to support irrigators who were affected by the floods earlier this year.  Participants in the program are employed on a casual, part-time basis to assist with on-ground works on public sites of environmental importance.

Projects underway include restoration and weed control at native plantation sites, protective fencing of cultural sites, rubbish removal and river frontage restoration works. In recent weeks, the crews have been working on high profile sites along Cureton Avenue, Merbein Common, Cardross Bush Land Reserve and Wallpolla Island.

Mallee CMA chairperson Sharyon Peart says the success of the program was evident.

“The program provides work three days a week, which is an opportunity for irrigators to get away from their properties and speak with fellow growers in a similar position, yet the program still allows them to continue work on their properties for the rest of the week,” Ms Peart said.

“It remains an important strength of the program that sufficient flexibility is provided as to not disadvantage participants with their farm operations”.

So far the program has delivered on-ground works at 22 separate sites, with that number increasing as weather conditions improve.

Participants currently involved in the program will have work until the end of the year.

“Really, this program is a win-win for irrigators and the environment,” Ms. Peart said.

“The work being undertaken is necessary and important and will deliver long term social, environmental and economic benefits.”

Ms Peart said the program was also offering participants accredited training in a range of areas including first aid, all terrain vehicle operation, chemical users’ certificates and cultural heritage.

“This training will assist the participants in the running of their farms or help to improve their opportunities for off-farm employment,” Ms Peart said.

For more information about the Mallee Flood Recovery Environmental Employment Program, contact the Mallee CMA on 5051 4377.

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