Janelle Saffin with Environmental Training and Development general manager Graham Bird (left) and Work for the Dole project sup
Janelle Saffin with Environmental Training and Development general manager Graham Bird (left) and Work for the Dole project sup

Saffin sees the dole project at work

By ANDY PARKS andy.parks@northernstar.com.au JANELLE SAFFIN spent the morning of her 100th day as Federal Member for Page inspecting environmental restoration work at the Birdwing Butterfly Gully along Tucki Tucki Creek in Goonellabah.

Work for the Dole project supervisor Garth Kindred explained how his Greencorp team had been making bird boxes for micro bats, sugar gliders and feathertail gliders.

They also had been making traps for Indian mynahs, a bird that has recently arrived in the area and is having a%devastating affect on local species.

"They prey on native birds. They are very successful at breeding and they take food from other birds," he said. Ms Saffin was full of praise for the work that had been carried out, describing it as an 'ideal project'.

"It marries the twin objective of giving people market-%able skills with local environmental land restoration," she said.

The walk along the Bird-%wing Butterfly Gully came in the context of a Federal Labor review of the Work for the Dole arrangements.

Ms Saffin made a representation to the Minister for Employment Participation, Brendan O'Conner, on behalf of EnviTE, which manages many environmental training and employment projects.

It has been a busy start to life as a Federal MP. Kevin Rudd said Labor would be accountable for keeping all of their election promises and last week he released a 56-page booklet First 100 Days Achievements of the Rudd Government.

In it he outlines the major achievements of the Government, including the apology to the Stolen Generations, the introduction of legislation to abolish WorkChoices and implement tax cuts, the appointment of a petrol price commissioner and signing the Kyoto Protocol.

The Northern Star asked Ms Saffin to reflect on what she thought she had achieved in Page in her first 100 days.

"The first thing is to restore public faith in the political process. I've been meeting%people and listening," she said. "We're rolling out all of our election commitments."

She nominated her biggest achievements as the radio-%therapy unit for Lismore Base Hospital which she said was now 'on track', the $18 million for Grafton Base Hospital capital upgrade which has been included in the current financial year budget, lobbying to get the Alstonville bypass started before 2009 by having it moved from the Auslink 2 funding to Auslink 1, and having tenders awarded for the Ballina bypass.



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