Carl Rudd, Bush Heritage Contract Reserve Overseer for Queensland, reports on the work of the Green Corps teams.
The Green Corps team on Carnarvon. Photo Carl Rudd.
Over the past 15 months, Goonderoo Reserve and Carnarvon Station Reserve in Queensland have benefited enormously from the work of two Green Corps teams.
Green Corps is a Federal Government program in which young people receive on-ground training and practical experience while working for the environment.
Each work program runs for six months and is coordinated by Greening Australia and Job Futures.
Our first team, working between June and December 2003, was led by Travis Sydes and renewed over 12 kilometres of fencing at Carnarvon to exclude feral horses from the property. They worked to upgrade the volunteer quarters, construct a vehicle wash-down facility and build a terrific outdoor oven and barbecue.
The completed outdoor oven and barbecue. Photo Carl Rudd.
At Goonderoo they replaced the dilapidated fencing around the homestead.
The team were an impressive and enthusiastic group, surviving the –12 ºC temperatures of the Carnarvon winter and the heat of the central Queensland summer. They received local acclaim and were dux of the state in that round of Green Corps projects.
The second Green Corps team began work in early April 2004. With Travis again as team leader, the team hit the ground running. At Goonderoo the main theme of their work was to integrate cultural heritage and ecological conservation.
We were extremely fortunate to have the wonderful support of local Kairi elder Lindsay Black, who provided invaluable insights and perspective. The team mapped areas of past Aboriginal habitation on the property, located and photographed significant artefacts, and rehabilitated areas of cultural heritage that were suffering from erosion.
Sunset at Goonderoo. Photo Wayne Lawler / EcoPix.
The second team also worked on the nature refuge on an adjoining property where bridled nail-tailed wallabies, once thought to be extinct, were released a few years ago. Several shelters were constructed to assist refuge owner Hugo Spooner to encourage local school groups to the site.
As these shelters were built close to the boundary fence of the two properties, Bush Heritage can also use them. This cooperative venture has helped to strengthened ties between Bush Heritage, Goonderoo and local landholders.
Also part of the Green Corps program were weed mapping in important areas of bluegrass downs and brigalow woodland, repairing and constructing fences, and revegetating redundant tracks. The success of both teams has highlighted the benefits of volunteer and sponsored work programs at Goonderoo.
We're hoping to extend the equally successful Volunteer Ranger Program to this reserve in the future.