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In June the Government announced funding to bring forward work in Skippers’ Canyon, redeploying workers in the Queenstown region.

[Graphic -Queenstown lakes social block]

Biosecurity Minister Damen O’Connor announced the National Wilding Conifer Control Programme (the Programme) would reallocate funding underspent due to the COVID-19 lockdown, to bring forward control, redeploying workers in the Queenstown region while the tourism sector recovers.

Initially $100,000 was reallocated for this work. The programme increased this to $275,950, expanding expanded the scope of work to include projects throughout Queenstown.

Our original target was to fund roles for twenty people from the tourism sector.  But that was only part of the story.  In addition to this our programme partners brought on 31 additional new staff, including new ground staff, helicopter crew, and people employed for traffic management.

By the end of the project six redeployed workers returned to their previous roles, and 13 found new roles (including six people who took full-time employment with a wilding pine contractor).

Wilding control work in Queenstown is continuing with new funding from Budget 2020.  Since July work includes ground operations removing trees on the Arawata Bridle Track, at the Mt Crichton Scenic Reserve, the Ben Lomond Scenic Reserve, the Morning Star Beach Recreation Reserve, the Coronet Peak Recreation Reserve, and along the Glenorchy-Queenstown road.