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Tuesday, 22 February 2011
Page: 1011

Mr SIDEBOTTOM (4:17 PM) —On 18 January 2010 CHOOSE Employment from our local O Group were successful in their application for $909,000 as part of the Get Communities Working stream of the federal government’s Jobs Fund. It fitted into the O Group’s Community Infrastructure Development Group. Part of that $909,000 went towards engaging four construction teams—two out of Devonport and two out of Launceston—to assist the third sector to improve their community building infrastructure, particularly under the watchful supervision of Wayne McConachy and Mike Jetson. They were to operate within the not-for-profit and charitable sector completing construction tasks. Many projects were completed. I was proud to attend the opening of an office facility and workshop for the Mersey Natural Resource Management Group. The extension of the Devonport rugby clubrooms was another worthwhile project, and I was also able to attend that opening. Other projects included the construction of storage sheds at Devonport and Greens Beach golf clubs, the construction of outdoor undercover facilities at Sheffield’s Tandara Lodge and at Ulverstone aged-care facilities, and a building extension, re-roof and toilet construction at the north-west sustainable living centre near Penguin.

In total, in excess of 90 work experience positions were facilitated by these and some 15 additional projects. The program itself was structured to support two qualified builders, four trainees and 16 trade assistants in each team. All were paid award rates. The trade assistants worked on a casual basis over a five-day fortnight. Team members were recruited from recently redundant workers, early school leavers and job-ready unemployed job seekers who were seeking entry-level training and experience in building and construction. Job placements were also provided for out-of-trade apprentices within each team as they completed their remaining trade studies and sought ongoing employment where the construction took place.

I would like to congratulate CHOOSE Employment and the O Group in particular and also Ian Fawkner, the manager of Community Solutions for CHOOSE Employment, for making this such a worthwhile project. For all those that have benefited from those projects, thank you for taking on these tasks and particularly to our two builders, Wayne McConachy and Mike Jetson, the latter a very strong supporter of my local Ulverstone Basketball Association Red Hoppers Basketball Club.