A flood of new jobs

Pilot pro­gram: em­ploy­ment re­sults from ef­forts to con­trol in­va­sive weeds

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS - Ge­orge Smith ge­orge.smith@cnbtimes.com.au

MONTO has had an un­ex­pected ben­e­fit from the floods.

In an ef­fort to con­trol in­va­sive weeds brought about by the floods Bur­nett Mary Re­gional Group has en­gaged a va­ri­ety of peo­ple to help out and cats claw creeper is one of the main weeds to be tar­geted.

Brad Crosby, the group’s vol­un­teer co-or­di­na­tor for the flood re­cov­ery pro­ject, said the pos­i­tive re­sult from the flood had been greater aware­ness and govern­ment tak­ing more no­tice of flood ar­eas.

Seven young men from the Monto area, 80% who have never had full time work be­fore, now have jobs for the next two years.

For most of them this is their first full-time job.

Chris Baker We have all now gained cer­tifi­cates in chain­saws and spraying.

One of the new work­ers had been out of work for 20 years.

Mr Crosby said the fed­eral and state govern­ment fund­ing of $7000 was used to en­gage lo­cal em­ploy­ment providers and get re­fer­rals of un­em­ployed peo­ple.

One of the seven is Chris Baker, 19, who is now su­per­vis­ing the group.

“I was re­ferred by a job agency and have been in for a lit­tle over a month and will def­i­nitely stay for two years,” Mr Baker said.

“We have all now gained cer­tifi­cates in ar­eas such as chain­saws and spraying.”

PHOTO: GE­ORGE SMITH

WEED BUSTERS: Post flood weed con­trol has cre­ated full time em­ploy­ment for seven Monto peo­ple.

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