Dozens of Victorian jobseekers will be hired to plant 150,000 trees, plants and native grass tube stock across Melbourne through the Victorian Government’s $500 million Working for Victoria fund.
The 64 workers will drive the City of Melbourne’s ‘Greening the City’ project, adding colour to the capital and supporting biodiversity.
Planting sites under consideration include Royal Park, the Inner Circle railway corridor, Dynon Road, Lorimer Street and Oak Street. Flora includes 116,000 tubes of native grasses including Kangaroo and Common Wallaby, wildflower varieties Tufted Bluebell and Blushing Bindweed and 30,000 shrubs such as Native Fuchsia and Tree Violet.
Some 4,000 semi-advanced trees and tube stock trees will also be planted, including the indigenous Golden Wattle, River Red Gum, Coastal Banksia, Victorian Blue Gum and the near-threatened Yarra Gum. The plantings are estimated to provide habitat for more than 276 species of birds, mammals, reptiles and frogs.
While most workers will be engaged in planting for six months, about 10 will effectively become tree census collectors, performing duties including measuring the trunk diameter of 40,000 street and park trees to guide urban forest modelling.
Since its launch in April, Working for Victoria has placed more than 6,700 workers in new roles. Working for Victoria creates employment for people who have lost their jobs due to the impacts of coronavirus, while delivering a valuable community service.
The new City of Melbourne jobs are in addition to 500 cleaning blitz roles currently being performed in inner Melbourne in partnership with Spotless and Citywide. Working for Victoria has also placed workers in roles such as land and asset management, community outreach, hardship relief delivery and crisis co-ordination.
For more information on Working for Victoria and to register, go to vic.gov.au/workingforvictoria.
As noted by Minister for Jobs, Innovation and Trade Martin Pakula
“This is a win for workers and win for the environment and we’re proud to be backing this program.”
“Working for Victoria is supporting councils to roll out initiatives which benefit the community while bolstering local jobs.”
As noted by Lord Mayor Sally Capp
“We will provide jobs to 64 people who would otherwise be unemployed as a result of coronavirus – they will work for six months on the largest revegetation project we have ever undertaken.”
“The value of our parks and gardens has been evident during this pandemic, providing space for people to safely exercise and enjoy some fresh air during lockdown.”