STAWELL - The Lake Lonsdale and Lake Fyans rehabilitation project will be one of the first sites nationally to benefit under the Coalition's Green Army.
Shadow Minister for Climate Action, Environment and Heritage, Mr Greg Hunt, has announced that a Coalition government will rejuvenate Lake Lonsdale and Lake Fyans to boost tourism and restore local pride, as part of its commitment to build a 15,000 strong Green Army nationwide.
The beaches along the lakes were once a flourishing destination for tourists, and a local relaxation/swimming area.
Due to the growth of trees on and around the beach area and environmental impacts, such as drought, the lakes as an attraction have diminished.
"This would have a positive impact on the all communities in the vicinity as well as improving tourism - which of course benefits the local economy," Mr Hunt said.
"It would also provide an opportunity for the young people of Stawell and the surrounding areas to be involved. Rejuvenating the lakes would not only help local younger people to develop new skills but would strength community bonds.
"If elected, a Coalition Government will take action to work in consultation with the local community to rejuvenate the lakes through removing trees, weed eradication and appropriate revegetation works over an expected six month period."
The Liberal candidate for Mallee, Chris Crewther, has been working with local communities to identify the best projects that will improve the Stawell region and revitalise tourism to the Grampians and to the surrounding areas.
"The rejuvenation of Lake Lonsdale and Lake Fyans is exactly what the Green Army will be about, practical work that improves the local environment and helps improve local communities," Mr Hunt said.
"These projects also provide a terrific opportunity for young people in Stawell and the surrounding region to be part of the first intake of the Green Army.
"Every participant in the Green Army will receive a training allowance, as well as gain valuable work skills and potential qualification in different areas of environmental remediation."
Chris Crewther, has been fighting for this project for many months.
"After extensive consultation with the local community, I have been fighting for the rejuvenation of Lake Lonsdale and Lake Fyans and see it a key priority for Stawell, the Grampians and the surrounding regions", Chris Crewther said.
"The electorate of Mallee has received many quality proposals and I will continue to fight for more projects for the community."
At the same time as improving the local environment, the Green Army will foster volunteerism, teamwork, local ownership and community spirit in the young people who participate.
The project announced today will provide significant impetus to the ongoing work of volunteer groups, councils and the state government in improving Lake Lonsdale and Lake Fyans.