December 10, 2020
The Pew Charitable Trusts, South West Catchments Council and Perth Natural Resource Management (NRM) have welcomed today’s announcement that the WA Government will invest an initial $4 million in practical conservation and land management jobs to aid economic recovery.
This funding is the first tranche of the McGowan Government’s $60 million Green Jobs Plan, announced in July 2020. The program aims to provide unemployed and underemployed Western Australians with temporary nature-based employment as the economy recovers from COVID-19.
Pew Charitable Trusts WA Manager Tim Nicol said the funding was a positive step forward for the environment and the WA economy.
“Today’s announcement shows thoughtful leadership by the McGowan Government. This investment will provide practical work and economic benefits for WA communities, while leaving lasting benefits for the environment and rural communities,” Mr Nicol said.
“As we have already seen, the economic impacts of COVID-19 have hit hard on many regional communities. This plan focuses on the Mid-West, Wheatbelt, Peel, South-West and Great Southern regions, which will enable people in these areas to gain experience and employment in conservation and natural resource management.”
Perth Natural Resource Management (NRM) acting CEO Keith Pekin welcomed the announcement.
“Conservation and farming organisations have been working with state and federal governments to highlight the opportunity for jobs in the conservation and land management sector to deliver practical, hands-on work for regional and remote communities,” he said.
“This package will support local people working on local projects and help build resilience in our communities, our agricultural landscapes and the natural environment.”
South Coast Catchments Council CEO Sally Wilkinson commended the WA Government for the initiative.
“This initiative is a step towards realising the huge opportunity for investment in the conservation economy and shows the McGowan Government is responding to community support for conservation and the environmental economy as top priorities for COVID-recovery,” she said.
The groups are part of a coalition of over 70 conservation and farming organisations which came together to develop a plan for economic stimulus through a large-scale conservation and land management program.