The Victorian Government moved quickly to respond to the unfolding COVID-19 crisis, announcing its $500 million Working for Victoria program in March 2020.
The program, developed to stimulate a struggling economy, incorporated spending for new and existing projects in the national resource management and agriculture sector among other initiatives.
Early reports indicate good results for the program around the state, with uptake particularly strong in areas which have been hardest hit by COVID-19 job losses.
To date, 570 new roles have been created by Catchment Management Authorities, Parks Victoria and the Department of Environment representing a total investment of $29 million.
The jobs will improve land and catchment health through the removal of rubbish, increased revegetation, pest management control and maintenance to keep waterways clean, safe and healthy.
Work completed also includes improvements to parks and reserves, such as track maintenance.
Local councils have created several hundred additional environment-related positions through Working for Victoria (for example, the City of Melbourne created 64 positions for urban tree planting).
The statewide program involves lots of government partners and local councils in delivering practical land management work. They operate using a coordinated approach to recruitment, which has helped to fill available roles rapidly, but local organisations retain autonomy in where they work.