A group of indigenous people who are training in the field of conservation and land management will be helping look after our local environment thanks to a new partnership between BioDiversity Solutions Australia and Port Macquarie-Hastings Council.
BioDiversity Solutions Australia Pty Ltd (BDS) is a local company that received funding under the Australian Government's Regional Jobs and Investment Packages to assist regional stakeholders to participate in the Biodiversity Offset Scheme.
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council will be providing biodiversity sites across the region for the 12 participants to gain valuable practical experience, leading to employment opportunities in the fields of conservation and land management.
Council director Melissa Watkins welcomed the project that will see the trainees work on a number of important local environmental conservation projects.
"Protecting our valuable local natural environment is so critically important, and the new trainees will be assisting with bush regeneration, weed control and feral animal control at a number of sites across the region," said Ms Watkins.
"This partnership is extremely important for council, as it not only provides wonderful 'hands-on' experience for the trainees, it also assists in meeting community expectations related to our natural resources, meeting ecological goals and legislative requirements."
BDS project coordinator Linda Perkins was excited to see the commencement of the project last week.
"It was great to see our 12 new employees starting on the project, undertaking practical environmental tasks to improve the biodiversity on an important council site."
"We have always felt that the Biodiversity Offset Scheme provides great opportunities for income and employment in regional and rural areas, particularly for aboriginal owned land, and this is hopefully the start of that process for these trainees."
A number of different stakeholders have come together to make the program possible, including council, North Coast TAFE, private landholders and Job Active provider NORTEC.
The employees will work on council's airport biodiversity site until June 30, 2019, and then move to other sites for the remainder of the program.
For more information on this project or the biodiversity offset scheme, visit biodiversitysolutionsaustralia.com.au