Thousands of local jobs could be generated through a $4 billion combined federal and state economic stimulus package in the conservation and land management sector, according to a coalition of conservation, farming and land management organisations.
“The road to recovery will be a long one, which will require each sector of society to contribute in its own way. The conservation and land management sector stand ready to support the delivery of economic stimulus measures once social distancing measures are eased,” said Natarsha Woods, CEO of Wheatbelt NRM.
“We know that sustainable, locally delivered investment would deliver practical, meaningful work for those that need it, while leaving enduring benefits for the environment. It would also have significant economic multipliers, with work generated for local suppliers and hospitality businesses.”
Over 70 farming, conservation and land management organisations across the country, including Wheatbelt NRM, National Farmers Federation, the Australian Land Conservation Alliance and Landcare Australia have written to the Prime Minister and all state Premiers proposing a $4 billion combined federal and state economic stimulus package in the conservation and land management sector.
In the Wheatbelt, projects such as the River Rats can hit the ground running as social distancing measures are eased.
The River Rats teams would tackle regional waterways and undertake priority work. This would not only provide employment but would have social and economic benefits to the towns as the river tends to be a central attraction for the community.
“With over 1 million people predicted to be out of work in the coming months, the conservation and land management sector has the capacity to provide recently unemployed people with safe, meaningful and socially beneficial work, while leaving enduring benefits for the environment, tourism and farm businesses,” said Natarsha Woods.