It goes without saying that when Federal Parliament returns from its Winter break, there will be many issues on the table for extensive consideration and debate.
Before this occurs, I would like to take a moment to acknowledge my colleague, the late Don Randall MP, who sadly passed away last month.
Don was a very committed Member of Parliament and was a fearless representative of the constituents in the Federal electorate of Canning in Western Australia.
Don showed great passion for many causes throughout his political career, one of these being the Clontarf Foundation.
Chief Executive Officer of the Clontarf Foundation, Gerard Neesham, tells the story of how, for 15 years, Don walked representatives from the foundation into every office of all political persuasions in Parliament House, promoting their cause.
Today, the Clontarf Foundation successfully operates 12 school-based academies across NSW with 7 of these academies based in the Parkes electorate.
I take this opportunity to thank Don for his unrelenting commitment in helping the Clontarf Foundation to take off and for the opportunities these academies are now providing to many indigenous youth throughout the Parkes electorate.
Last week marked the first year anniversary of the Australian Government’s highly successful Green Army Programme.
I am a big supporter of the Green Army Programme. It not only offers real environmental and conservational benefits for our communities but also provides a range of benefits to participants of the programme.
Applications for projects under Round 4 of the Green Army Programme are now open and will close at 2pm (AEST) on Wednesday, 16 September 2015.
I encourage local groups including community organisations, Landcare groups, natural resource management organisations, environment groups and local councils to come forward with their project ideas. Projects under the Green Army Programme need to have a clear focus on conservation of the environment and can include National and World Heritage places.
I also call on local people aged between 17 and 24 to apply now to join the Green Army to work on these local projects. Green Army participants receive valuable, practical training and experience to help prepare them for the workforce or further their training and improve career opportunities. Participants also undertake work that will improve the environment throughout our local communities.
For more information about Round 4 of the Green Army Programme including eligibility, project guidelines and application forms please visit www.australia.gov.au/greenarmy.