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Government cuts 'green' jobs for young.



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Media Statement Hon Dr Carmen Lawrence MPShadow Minister for the Environment; the Arts; and assisting the Leader of theOpposition on the Status of Women;Member for Fremantle CLI 09/96 <30 J ly 1996

GOVERNMENT CUTS 'GREEN' JOBS FOR YOUNG

The Shadow Minister for the yirdnment Dr Carmen Lawrence, today joined with concerned conservationists in condemning Government cuts to key labour market programs.

The Age today reported that up to 30,000 conservation training places which enabled long term unemployed Australians to work on important conservation programs were expected to be axed in the August Budget.

"If the magnitude of these labour market program cuts is maintained in the budget many vital community conservation programs across Australia will disappear," Dr Lawrence said.

"These are grassroots community programs that work. In the past, the money has enabled timber plantations to get started, salinity and erosion problems to be tackled, vegetation loss to be slowed; and renewable energy, waste management and recycling

industries to be boosted," Dr Lawrence said.

"The programs have significant environment benefits, and they provide employment growth based on sustainable development.

"Labor's forward estimates allocated $312 million towards environmental labour market programs such as the Landcare and Environment Action Program (LEAP) for the 1996/97 and 1997/98 financial years. If Senator Vanstone's 80 per cent cut is maintained in the 1996/97 budget community, based environment projects will be

denied over $240 million.

"John Howard promised to establish a 2000 strong 'green' corps. He is now going to slash 24,000 environmental labour market places. It is a direct attack on the environment and on the long term unemployed.

"Attacking these programs defies common sense. They are good for our young people and they are good for the environment."

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During the 1996 election campaign, the Coalition promised not to cut labour market

programs. They also promised to establish a 2000 strong Green Corps that would `tap into the environmental commitment of young Australians by enabling them to undertake vital conservation related work'.

"On the 28th June, the Minister for Employment, Amanda Vanstone, announced an 80 per cent cut to brokered programs such as LEAP, Jobskills and New Work Opportunities," Dr Lawrence said.

"She claimed they were 'expensive'."

"Senator Vanstone's decision shows how completely out of touch she is with regional Australia. I challenge Senator Vanstone to back up her claim that the programs have 'generally low positive outcomes'. Which environment programs does she consider not beneficial?"

Contact: Caroline Tumour

RG115, Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600 Ph: (06) 277 4181; Fx (06) 277 8501 Unit 7, Queensgate Mall, William Street, Fremantle 6160 Ph: (090 335 8555; Fz: (09) 3361059