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Byron Shire
May 18, 2022

Green Army benefits will be lost: Envite Environment

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Entertainment in the Byron Shire for the week beginning 18 May, 2022

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Green Army Supervisor Lucas Salmon from EnviTE with 2016 participants (l-r) Guillaume Berthier, Sheba Martyn and Rosie Ronan.
Green Army’s Lismore team: supervisor Lucas Salmon from EnviTE with 2016 participants (l-r) Guillaume Berthier, Sheba Martyn and Rosie Ronan.

With the likely scrapping of the Green Army program, local operators say it will result in many local young people no longer being able to gain skills and earn a supplementary income to their Newstart allowance.

The Green Army was former PM Tony Abbott’s flagship environmental ‘direct action’ climate plan; participants received between $614 and $996 a fortnight to participate in conservation-restoration projects.

The federal government announced it may be scrapped under a deal to save $350m.

Local projects

Envite Environment, who say they have run four projects out of Byron Bay and more than 50 across the NSW north coast, claim it has brought a wealth of environmental, social and economic benefits to the area.

Representatives from Byron Shire Council, Dunecare, Envite Environment and the community gathered Tuesday morning to congratulate Byron Bay’s Green Army Team on completion of another successful project.

Team supervisor John McVicar said the team had exceeded all their targets and learned extremely valuable lessons about teamwork.


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3 COMMENTS

  1. The green army scheme bought a wealth of cash to the pockets of work for the dole entrepreneurs. But now the party is over . Never fear, their is plenty of money to be be made in the (un) employment game. If green army entrepreneurs are innovative and agile they will find a fresh range of unemployed Australians to milk as cash cows. The sky is the limit. Aim high. Just keep in mind the riches won by Max employment and Mission Australia. Not to mention VET providers, So, unemployed former green army entrepreneurs do not give up.This is an innovation economy and the ball is in your court. New photo opportunities are just around the corner.

    • Brian,

      Majority of money associated with each project is directly participant pays, of which they pay tax on. Most of these agencies and employment services groups have very little change out of the allocated funding once training, equipment and vehicles are sorted. In fact in some cases they have been out of pocket. You need to understand the resources it takes to run these projects and as a result not just young people who can really gain some amazing skills are losing out, but supervisors and those people who assist in n coordination and logistics.

  2. While it would be nice and simple for the market to provide entry jobs, it is not and will be even less able to in the future as productivity improves with emerging technologies.

    Government has to accept this reality and learn to balance budgets by mandating, “Social investment levies” from the productive sector of the economy. Not appropriate to call it Tax, as Tax has regressive and punitive connotations.

    It is investment in the fabric of society and culture that produces motivated, skilled, creative and competent human beings the productive sector requires.

    It is an investment in the physical, administrative and cultural infrastructure that is required for a modern economy.

    Sure there are countries that don’t levy the productive sector but do they provide the environment a modern economy needs?

    We must learn to let the anachronistic business models go elsewhere, in doing so it frees up resources for more relevant businesses.

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