A group of 12 Indigenous trainees have completed an employment program in conservation and land management thanks to a partnership between Kempsey Shire Council, Port Macquarie-Hastings Council, BioDiversity Solutions Australia, TAFE North Coast and NORTEC.
BioDiversity Solutions Australia Pty Ltd (BDS) is a local company that received funding under the Australian Government’s Regional Jobs and Investment Package to assist regional stakeholders to participate in the Biodiversity Offset Scheme. One of the projects was for BDS to establish an Indigenous Employment Training Program.
The program saw BDS partner with both Port Macquarie and Kempsey Shire Councils who provided conservation sites for the group as part of their Certificate II in Land Conservation with TAFE.
Kempsey Council’s Coordinator Strategic and Environmental Planning, Steve Schwartz, said Council provided a site at Christmas Creek in Kempsey as part of the commitment to providing employment and training opportunities for Indigenous people.
“Over four weeks the group worked on fencing off the riparian corridor at Christmas Creek to provide protection for native plantings,” he said.
“They also observed the establishment of habitat opportunities for fauna in the area using tree stumps and re-establishing the natural back swamp landscape to provide habitat and foraging environment for native animals.”
The group were congratulated on their work at Christmas Creek and for completing their TAFE studies by BDS Managing Director, Rod Barnaby, program partners, Federal Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan and Council’s General Manager, Craig Milburn on-site on August 15.