End of an era as EnviTE loses work-for-the-dole funding

LAST SUPPER: EnviTE worker Angus Graham, of Lismore, enjoys a lunch put on by Lismore City Council yesterday to say ‘thank you’ to EnviTE for its 20-year partnership on many bush regeneration and environmental programs.
LAST SUPPER: EnviTE worker Angus Graham, of Lismore, enjoys a lunch put on by Lismore City Council yesterday to say ‘thank you’ to EnviTE for its 20-year partnership on many bush regeneration and environmental programs. Marc Stapelberg

"THE end of an era" is how EnviTE's employment manager Angela Rigney described the last work-for-the-dole program being run in conjunction with Lismore City Council.

EnviTE and council have partnered on numerous bush regeneration and environmental programs for the past 20 years, but missed out on Federal Government funding for employment services in the region after June 30.

Similar programs will be offered by other providers and EnviTE will continue to run its Green Army, disability management program and commercial environment programs.

Council's environmental strategies officer Anton Nguyen said EnviTE's work crews had "literally helped council change the face of Lismore" over the past 20 years.

In that time the crews have rehabilitated native forests and improved habitat, creek health and stormwater runoff, particularly in the urban catchments of Lismore.

Angus Graham has been working with EnviTE since February and said it had been great for improving his bush skills and knowledge, while also encouraging team work and work ethic.

He said they have mainly been doing riverbank stabilisation work and also setting up a bush tucker nursery at Federal Preschool.

But the Southern Cross University music graduate is now planning to go back and study law rather than pursuing bush regeneration.

Team leader Chris Owen said many of the sites where EnviTE had worked were now mature plantings that needed very little maintenance.

Anton Nguyen said the relationship had been win-win for both organisations and he was looking forward to working with other providers to continue the good work.

Topics:  envite, lismore council, work-for-the-dole

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