Green Army helps council battle giant invasive vines

Friday February 27 2015, 9:00am

Douglas Shire Council (DSC)’s ongoing battle against gigantic tree-crushing invasive vines in the Daintree Rainforest will receive a boost of Federal funding.

Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch welcomed the announcement of $7850 of funding for the DSC’s Hiptage Vine control project under the Federal Government’s Green Army initiative in a press release yesterday. 

Hiptage, also known as helicopter flower, grows to enormous size and can smother large swathes of native rainforest, in some cases dragging down fully-grown trees through sheer weight. 

Council workers have to fight their way through dense vegetation to cut the hiptage up with chainsaws. 

“I’m very pleased that Far North Queensland will be hosting a number of Green Army projects,” Mr Entsch said. 

“This is a fantastic opportunity for our local young people to gain valuable paid work experience, and benefits the environment at the same time.”

“The Green Army gives young Australians aged 17-24 years an opportunity to gain training and experience in environmental and conservation fields and explore careers in conservation management, while taking part in projects that generate real benefits for the Australian environment,” Mr Entsch said.

“Young people in Leichhardt now have the opportunity to be a part of one of these projects and help our community deliver important local conservation outcomes.

“Around Australia, the Green Army has been an incredible success story for both the environment and those involved. All participants have received training and many already have jobs lined up for when their project finishes.


“Green Army project activities could involve restoring and protecting native habitat, weeding,

revegetation, cleaning up waterways, creeks and rivers, fencing, gully remediation, preventing

erosion, protecting and conserving heritage places and values, or monitoring and surveying on Indigenous and non?Indigenous lands.”

Other Green Army projects in Leichhardt include $80,000 for Choice Australia to carry out two four-stage projects focusing on propagation of indigenous plants and bush tucker. 

This project will design, plan and construct a large greenhouse to propagate indigenous plants. The Green Army team will have the opportunity to learn about native plant species, how to collect and propagate seeds and the Indigenous heritage and cultural knowledge about native plant species. 

Concurrently, a second project will design, plan and construct a large bush tucker garden. Young people will have the opportunity to learn about bush tucker and understand how it provides a connection to country. 

Choice Australia is a Cairns-based organisation that develops practical activities for disadvantaged and disengaged learners, increasing their self-esteem and life skills and strengthening communities.

A third project commits $29,000 for the Wet Tropics Management Authority for pest management and weed control projects between Leichhardt and Kennedy. 

This project, in areas adjoining the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, will establish bait stations to control yellow crazy ants, provide weed control in riparian areas, and carry out yellow crazy ant pest surveys.