darren.chester.mp@aph.gov.au 1300 131 785
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December 17, 2013

A new partnership between the local indigenous community, the East Gippsland Catchment Management Authority (EGCMA) and the Federal Government is boosting the local environment.

Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester said the Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation (GLaWAC) has been engaged to work on a number of natural resource management projects.

Mr Chester said crews from GLaWAC have been assisting with a Landcare planting project at Forge Creek; removing willows from the lower Mitchell River; controlling bone seed, cape broom and other weeds; and fencing off river banks to reduce stock access.

“Both the EGCMA and GLaWAC are to be commended on this initiative which is already producing a number of positive outcomes,” Mr Chester said.

“The project is engaging young members of the indigenous community, providing them with practical environmental management skills and creating another link to their traditional history.”

GLaWAC Chief Executive Officer Barry Kenny said the partnership had multiple benefits for the indigenous community.

Mr Kenny said the work supported GLaWAC’s responsibility as traditional native title owners in East Gippsland to protect lands and waters.

“Our relationship with the EGCMA is important to us and it’s great for the young people involved to have access to these jobs,” Mr Kenny said.

“The on-the-job training they are receiving across a range of natural resource management skills is invaluable and the work carried out so far emphasises our future capacity to undertake environmental projects.

“It’s a positive for our region that young indigenous men and women can attain these skills while also developing knowledge that is fundamental to their culture.”

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