BUSY At Work is supporting a visionary new Work for the Dole (WFD) project in Bowen which will provide a major tourism boost for the local region.
BUSY At Work, Work for the Dole Administration Support Officer, Debbie Hildebrand said the project to develop a Bush Tucker Trail on Flagstaff Hill, on the eastern side of the town, had been in the pipeline for some time.
Flagstaff Hill is a very popular lookout which gives tourists a 360 degree view of Bowen and the top of the Whitsunday Islands.
“On 1 July this year BUSY At Work, Indigenous community organisation Girudala, NEATO, Max Employment and Community Solutions developed a unique partnership to establish a Bush Tucker Trail on Flagstaff Hill.”
“The project is part of the Work for the Dole Program. By working with the local employment agencies, BUSY At Work is able to supply job seekers who in return are job ready.”
“We currently have 17 participants involved. Throughout the project the job seekers will have the opportunity to upskill their knowledge base, learn some civil construction and landscaping techniques and gain jobs or training opportunities,” Ms Hildebrand said.
Debbie said the Bush Tucker Trail had been the vision of the Girudala Community Co-operative Society for a number of years and it was great to finally see the project come to fruition.
The project has also involved cooperative partnerships between, Department of Natural Resources and Mines, Kyburra Munda Yalga Corp, Whitsunday Regional Council, Bowen Green Army, Juru Enterprises and Bowen Earth Moving.
“This is an exciting project which will provide great benefits to the whole community as well. Both locals and tourists will be able to enjoy the benefits of beautiful walking tracks around Flagstaff Hill taking in the dry tropical landscape of Bowen,” Ms Hildebrand added.
Supervisor for the Girudala Bush Tucker Trail project Mario Duca is excited to take on the role and said he was looking forward to the challenge of creating a major environmental project for the community.
Mario, who has an extensive background in civil construction, said the project would be completed in six monthly stages and would involve the construction of around three kilometres of walking tracks.
“We are planning three stages of the project which involves removing the shrubs and trees, laying the road base and making the edging using the natural rocks. As well as this we will erect signage, install rest benches and foot bridges.”
Mario said another exciting aspect of the project was the construction of a large bush tucker garden which will be developed with the assistance of the local Indigenous Juru and Gudjuda people and their Rangers.
“As each job seeker approaches their allocated 26 week WFD project period we want them to be proud of what they have achieved and the community they live in,” Mr Duca said.
BUSY At Work CEO, Paul Miles said BUSY was pleased to be the Work for the Dole Coordinator in this new initiative.
“We are delighted to be supporting this project and know the community will have a fantastic public space to use for educational and recreational purposes. This project will also realize the potential for future employment opportunities in tourism,” Mr. Miles said.
BUSY At Work became the jobactive (WFD) Coordinator for the Mackay Employment Region on 1 July this year and the Bush Tucker Trail is just one of a number of exciting new projects underway in the Mackay region set to benefit the community and job seekers.
The WFD program is an initiative of the Australian Government and administered by the Department of Employment.
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