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Thursday, May 23, 2024

COVID army to hit Melbourne waterways

A small army of Victorians will clean up litter, remove weeds and help make local rivers and creeks more beautiful as part of the Victorian Government’s plan to keep people working through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Minister for Water, Lisa Neville today announced that around 110 people will take on roles cleaning and work to protect Melbourne’s suburban waterways through the Government’s $500 million Working for Victoria fund.

“Local rivers and creeks have become even more valuable in recent months, with people getting out of the house to exercise and get some fresh air – this will make them cleaner and healthier,” said Ms Neville.

“It’s great to see Working for Victoria making a big contribution to improving our waterways, while also keeping people in work through the coronavirus pandemic.”

She said the fund creates employment for people who have lost their jobs due to the impacts of coronavirus, while delivering valuable community services, with almost 7,000 workers placed into roles since its launch in April.

More than 90 employees will remove rubbish, undertake invasive weed management and improve vegetation along the Yarra, Maribyrnong and Werribee rivers, as well as throughout the Dandenong and Bayside region.

The improvement works will be delivered in collaboration with the Yarra River Keeper Association, along with community groups and local councils along urban waterways.

A recent series of litter clean-up `blitz’ events along the Yarra and Maribyrnong rivers saw almost 40 tonnes of rubbish cleaned out.

Minister for Employment, Jaala Pulford said more than 20 new employees will work in administration roles for Melbourne Water, supporting the waterway health blitz and other important projects in the greater Melbourne catchment area.

“This is about creating jobs for Victorians and providing real benefits for our community,” said Ms Pulford.

“Working for Victoria has provided thousands of Victorians with employment and we’ll continue to support people who’ve been knocked around by the pandemic to get back earning a wage.”

People looking for work and businesses searching for staff can register with Working for Victoria at www.vic.gov.au/workingforvictoria.

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