For the past 16 weeks, flood recovery work (Green Army) participants have been learning invaluable new skills through their roles with Bushland Parks and Construction and Maintenance crews.
Today, they graduated from the program at a formal ceremony held at Laurel Bank Park in Toowoomba.
Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) Environmental, Health, Parks and Recreation portfolio leader Cr Sue Englart spoke at the function and was full of praise for the graduates and the legacy they had left behind.
"There are only winners out of a program like this," Cr Englart said.
"The beautiful parks, bush lands and waterways of this region suffered terribly during the floods of 2011.
"In the aftermath, there was a mountain of work that needed doing, while at the same time council was still expected to deliver its regular services and maintenance commitments.
"These graduates today have done a marvellous job to support our TRC crews who would have struggled with the sheer volume of work needed," she said.
Cr Englart said TRC operated and managed 531 parks and recreational facilities covering a total of 6297ha of land (including 4435ha of bushland parks).
The bushland parks crew worked with the rangers on a number of projects including repairing a staircase and replanting vegetation areas washed away during the floods.
The construction and maintenance crew undertook civil construction activities repairing roads and other assets damaged by the floods. They focused on pot hole patching, traffic control, line marking, road construction and concrete works; as well as storm water maintenance and repair.
And Cr Englart had a clear message for the new state government: "Keep sending the money. Keep sending the money."
"Training opportunities like this one give long-term unemployed, as well as people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities, a chance to show their talents and work ethic to potential employers. At the same time they pick up new skills and develop important contacts in a variety of industries. It's a vital program that council is keen to support."
The 2012 flood recovery work graduates were: Denis Kabamba, Moseka Bangala, Kevin Beezley, Ryan Fien, Trevor Sawtell, Kyle Langford, Fidele Mbaiornom, Werner Suhr, Micheal Cronk, Timothy Dolley, Alex Duku, Gerard Kerr, Samuel Mono, Luke Hamilton, Drew Readon, Jamie Marschke-Nocerino, Jason Churchward.
PICTURE CAPTION: Member for Toowoomba North Trevor Watts joined this year's graduates from the Flood Recovery Works Program.
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"I was very impressed with the service and courtesy. We are moving back to Toowoomba very shortly and if this is the council as they are at this stage, then we are very very happy to come back."Read more...