May 14th, 2020
Seventy agricultural, environmental and conservation organisations have united to urge the Federal government to introduce separate economic stimulus measures to help drive jobs growth across their sector and mitigate the impact of the health crisis.
A letter was sent to the Prime Minister Scott Morrison recently, outlining the need for $4 billion combined federal and state investment in “a jobs-rich conservation and land management program’’ that could generate thousands of skilled and unskilled positions across metropolitan and regional Australia during the COVID-19 recovery period.
The proposed program, outlined in a briefing note accompanying the letter, identifies the potential for 24,000 jobs, including tradespeople, and workers in tourism, fisheries and forestry who are currently feeling the profound pressure from the COVID-caused economic downturn.
The letter’s signatories include the National Farmers Federation, Landcare executives from around the country, conservation, environmental, and wildlife organisations and primary producers and national parks
It sets out a practical program for weed and pest control, restoring rivers and bushfire recovery and resilience.
While acknowledging the importance of the existing stimulus package, the letter outlines the need to navigate what will be a long recovery.
“Investment in a jobs-rich conservation and land management program, as part of broader economic stimulus measures, presents important opportunities for safe, meaningful and socially beneficial work during the period of economic crisis, while leaving enduring benefits for the environment, tourism and farm businesses,’’ the letter states.
The proposed stimulus package will feature in the next Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network fortnightly chat session, on Tuesday (May 19) with Pepe Clarke, from the Pew Charitable Trusts.
The chat will also include a discussion of the $20 billion Securing our Natural Advantage plan, which is designed to bring together government, private and philanthropic sectors to invest in Australia’s “nature capital’’.