Environmental leaders call for $4 billion boost to support Australia’s economic recovery

Landcare NSW
Landcare NSW

Landcare NSW is one of nearly 80 environmental and farming groups that have signed a proposal to the Australian Government to create 24,000 jobs in land rehabilitation through a post-pandemic stimulus package.

The $4 billion plan would apply the skills and infrastructure of these respected organisations to the massive task of rebuilding the economy when the COVID 19 situation transitions from crisis to recovery. The goal is to create jobs and economic stimulus by activating land management and conservation projects across the nation.

Landcare NSW CEO, Dr Adrian Zammit, says the nation-building proposal represented a remarkable show of unity by organisations that offer an extraordinary depth of experience, skill and commitment to conservation and agriculture. The stimulus package would get the recently unemployed back into jobs where they would be engaged in meaningful work to help the land recover after the devastation of natural disasters. “Drought, followed by catastrophic bushfires and flash flooding, have wreaked havoc on farms, landscapes and communities, and on-ground recovery work has been curtailed due to regulations to contain the virus,” says Dr Zammit.

“A national environmental stimulus package will help communities and landscapes to recover from the economic impact of COVID 19 and the financial and social impacts of the recent natural disasters.”

“Across Landcare alone, there are tens of thousands of Australians actively involved in environmental action across all types of land tenure. Stimulating community Landcare offers a huge opportunity to employ a workforce in improving the sustainability of our communities, environment and agricultural sectors,” says Dr Zammit.

Jobs in areas such as weed and pest control, river and catchment restoration and the repair of habitat and infrastructure damaged by fire would ensure tens of thousands of workers across NSW would be supported beyond the immediate crisis. The program would include funding for private land conservation by farmers and other land managers, tree-planting in urban and rural areas, coastal habitat restoration in partnership with communities and the fishing industry and marine plastics clean-up projects.

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