Media Release

Drought Assistance Brings Employment Opportunities

Workers in communities that have been impacted by the drought are being encouraged to participate in a program that provides supplementary income through off farm employment within the Wellington and East Gippsland Shires.

The Drought Employment Program is open to anyone currently employed in agriculture or similar industries.

Delivered in partnership with the North East, West Gippsland and East Gippsland Catchment Management Authorities, participants will work across a range of projects to improve the health of the catchment and the local environment, with a focus on pest and weed control.

The Catchment Management Authorities have appointed Gippsland based employment services agency, Workways Australia to co-ordinate and manage the employment of drought impacted workers.

Graeme Dear, CEO of the East Gippsland Catchment Management Authority said “The program is aimed to assist those in the community who are affected by the drought conditions that are seeking a bit of additional income”.

Katie Warner, CEO of North East Catchment Management Authority agreed adding, “The projects will improve the condition of our public land in areas that people use such as town parks and reserves. We want to tap into the skills of the farming community, while also creating another way for workers to support each other in a difficult time.”

Workers will be able to choose their availability based on existing commitments. It could be 1-5 days per week, or short to long periods in between other work commitments.

“The flexibility of the program means that workers can work as often or as little as they need to provide the additional income.” said Bryan McCormick, CEO of employment services provider, Workways.

“We will continue the program as long as there is demand for employment, or until we utilise all of our funds.“ added Bryan.

The Workways division, Envite Environment will be overseeing the day to day operations of the projects, given their extensive experience in employment services and Natural Resource Management.

Expressions of Interest have opened for people interested in participating, and information can be downloaded from the Workways website.

Martin Fuller, CEO of West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority summed up the program as a practical initiative. “We know this program will not suit everyone as each circumstance is different. We have however, received many enquiries from interested people so am confident the program will suit many people through Gippsland.”