GREEN PLAN: Fiona Nash and Page Nationals candidate Kevin Hogan talk to House with No Steps regional general manager Brett Lacey.
GREEN PLAN: Fiona Nash and Page Nationals candidate Kevin Hogan talk to House with No Steps regional general manager Brett Lacey. Jerad Williams

Coalitions Green Army

IT LOOKS like the Green Corps, it sounds like the Green Corps, and does much the same thing as the Work for the Dole environmental repair and training program that ran under Howard.

But the Coalition’s proposed ‘Green Army’ is not the Green Corps, Nationals Senate Deputy Leader Fiona Nash said yesterday. At least, not quite.

Ms Nash joined Nationals Page candidate Kevin Hogan with a small group of Nationals supporters at Summerland House with No Steps at Alstonville to discuss possible Green Army projects with the organisation’s regional general manager, Brett Lacey.

Mr Lacey had plenty of potential jobs in mind – ranging from agricultural-based projects to building boardwalks.

Mr Hogan said the program was flexible enough to cover them all. Its main criteria was that projects include an environmental component and a training component.

Ms Nash said the essential difference between the former Green Corps (which was scrapped by Labor after it won the 2007 election) and the Green Army, was the latter was done as a traineeship that provided a solid qualification, with participants earning trainee wages during their participation.

Ms Nash said the GreenArmy program was also more focused and structured than the Green Corps. Participants would operate in teams of 10 under a supervisor.

Mr Hogan said the sorts of projects participants could work on varied widely, from boardwalks to landscaping to riverbank rehabilitation to renewing koala habitat.

The Green Army was announced several months ago by Opposition Leader Tony Abbott as part of the Coalition’s ‘direct action’ policy, developed after it pulled its support for an emissions trading scheme.

When the lack of correlation between building boardwalks and stopping global warming was pointed out, Mr Hogan said the Coalition’s policy was about ‘direct action on climate change and theenvironment’.

“It’s not just about climate change,” Mr Hogan said.



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