Local businesses to benefit from environmental grant funding

Date published: 12 November 2020

First Nations and youth unemployment are the focus of a new Townsville City Council program that will repair river and beach locations damaged in the 2019 unprecedented monsoon.

The almost $2 million project has been funded by the Queensland Government through their Reef Assist program.

Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said the program would allow environmental businesses to provide training and upskilling opportunities to First Nations peoples, young residents, and other locals whose employment has been affected by COVID-19.

“This program has been designed to offer opportunities to community members that need a helping hand in gaining new skills to help them find meaningful employment,” Cr Hill said.

“Local environmental businesses can apply for a grant that will create up to 25 jobs between the successful applicants.

“Delivering this project will provide these 25 residents practical skills in environmental restoration activities under the supervision of our experienced staff.

Community Health, Safety and Environmental Sustainability Committee chairperson Margie Ryder said these works would benefit locations that had yet to recover following last year's unprecedented monsoon.

“Our Environmental Sustainability staff identified five key locations and affected coastal areas as the focus for this project that need support to ensure the ecosystems and environments fully recovery from the impacts of the monsoon last year,” Cr Ryder said.

“Areas around Bluewater Creek, the Ross River, Paluma, Magnetic Island and some coastal beaches will benefit from the improving of riparian vegetation, removing weed waste that has built up, and clearing of debris.

“As part of this project, our staff will also be looking for opportunities to improve access to our natural environments and exploring ways to enable ecotourism in the region.”

Grant applications are open until 25 November.

To find out more, visit Reef Assist Business Partnership Grant.