MPs dig deep to help green Australia

Premier Campbell Newman and Greening Australia nursery manager Joe Wilde

Politicians got their hands dirty at the weekend as they helped plant 1500 native trees in Ashgrove.

Premier Campbell Newman, state MP Saxon Rice and federal MP Jane Prentice joined more than 80 volunteers in the mass planting at Dawn Street, Ithaca Creek.

Planet Ark, SOWN (Saving our Waterways Now) and Greening Australia contributed tree seedlings, selection and design layout skills, mulch and volunteer networking for National Tree Day, as part of a two million tree plant around Australia.

Director of SOWN Rob Whyte described the original condition of the site as a “visual hazard” that hid entrances to the bikeways. The Ithaca Intact Project is 14 kms long. Last year 125 volunteers planted 1270 species after a previous three years clearing and preparation.

Greening Australia’s Nursery Manager at The Gap, Joe Wilde said habitat protection was a priority.

“The seedlings had been selected for bank stabilising capacity plus diversity of species for the upper, mid and low levels,” he said.

CEO of Greening Australia Queensland Michael Paramour was also on his knees amid the seedlings at the Ithaca Creek site.

“Here we are sharing an interest and investing back into what we treasure, the environment,” he said.

Since 2007 Ithaca Intact had received payments by the previous government of $85,000. while Perpetual Trust provided $80,000 according to secretary of SOWN Anne Jones.

“The current government had promised a further $10,000 as part of their election promise and the grant forms had arrived one week ago,” she said.

Chairman of Greening Australia Rod Douglas said: “We are about transforming landscapes.”

Last year Greening Australia received $500,000 ‘Caring for Country Grant’ for the Bunya biolink project, for extensive plantings in the Bunya Mountain bio region. This is part of a strategic generational plan that will build a wide swathe of diverse, climate appropriate plant species between Birdsville and Moreton Bay. A 2000 km corridor will recreate habitat for birds and other native animals.

Greening Australia are seeking to engage friends who are farmers, miners, big community developers, State and local Government for this visionary plan.

“It has been a question of strategic intersection and asking how could you do what you do, better, in the context of the environment,” Mr Douglas said.

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