Flood Affected and Need Help?
May 09, 2013
Are you a flood-affected primary producer or community environmental group living within one hour of Bundaberg who needs some hands-on help with flood recovery? Here’s assistance!
A Flood Recovery Employment project — sponsored by the Burnett Mary Regional Group (BMRG), Bundaberg Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, Conservation Volunteers Australia and the Australian Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations — is providing practical help for landholders combined with training opportunities for job seekers to help them find work.
Flood-affected Avondale landholder Mr John Wardrop currently has workers on his property and is highly supportive of the project.
“I’m very happy with the work that’s been done — and the speed,” he said.
“In a week and a half they’ve cleaned up around three kilometres of fencing and they’ve picked up at least half a kilometre of fence, realigned and strained it.”
The program has two teams of 10 workers, each team working two days on the property, and then all 20 workers come together on Wednesdays for theory sessions at the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries training centre on Ashfield Road.
Two experienced supervisors are on-site every day — Mr Vince Carige, Trainer and Assessor and Supervisor for Australian Agricultural Colleges Corporation and Mr Terry Spencer, Team Leader for Bundaberg area from Conservation Volunteers Australia.
Mr Carige assures landholders that they will have competent people in charge — people who understand, own cattle properties themselves and have worked in the industry for years, people who train for a living.
“Landholders can get so much done with ten workers —— controlling weeds applying chemicals, fencing — and are being given an opportunity so I’d suggest they jump on board, but if they’re concerned, please contact us and we can talk them through it,” he said.
Mr Spencer has been impressed by the level of commitment shown by this group of workers.
“These workers have only been working for five days and nearly have the fencing down pat,” he said.
Landholders don’t have to be on site during operations, but Mr Spencer said it is handy to have machinery there to assist.
“It makes the work process quicker — the project is only for 13 weeks and we’d like to satisfy as many landholders as possible in that time,” he said.
“The workers really appreciate doing something and getting these certificates may mean future employment — let’s hope we can get an apprenticeship or something similar with the Certificate Two in Rural Operations for the three 17 year-olds that are here today.”
Workers Josephine and Scotty are happy with the work they’ve done and would love to get work as general farm hands.
“We work in pairs to strain the fences, but I reckon if you’d been doing it a while you’d be able to do it by yourself,” Josephine said.
“John wouldn’t have been able to do all this work so quickly by himself, so it’s good to be able to give him a hand and let him know that he’s not isolated and that others care about what’s happened.”
“It’s really good we’ve been able to help John out — he really appreciates it,” said Scotty.
“And it’s great to work outdoors with my team-mates.”
If you are interested in having these workers assist you with your flood recovery, please call Brad Crosbie Volunteer Coordinator with BMRG on 4181 2999.
Burnett Mary Regional Group
07 4181 2999 ext 124 | 0459 104 580