From Victoria’s Great Ocean Road to Far North Queensland, Greenfleet forests stretch far and wide. While we work to take critical climate action through native reforestation, another benefit of our work is economically supporting regional communities through our forestry operations.
Greenfleet invests over $1 million regionally each year, helping to stimulate regional economies by creating demand for local industries.
Economic investment made in regional Australia helps to strengthen resilience and social cohesion. Particularly in remote regions with lower employment prospects, our demand for services can provide opportunities such as training and upskilling.
“Greenfleet has been a heavy investor in regional Australia for over twenty years so we are a very strong supporter of local communities,” said Greenfleet CEO Wayne Wescott, “Our wonderful supporters have enabled us to continue and double our planned investment in 2021 in order to further help local communities that have been impacted by the bushfires”.
As our work spreads across Australia and into New Zealand, we rely on local teams to bring their knowledge to our projects. While we help bring business into these regions, the expertise of local forestry services is also invaluable to Greenfleet’s work.
Paul Dettmann is the Managing Director of Cassinia Environmental, an organisation focussed on landscape restoration and biodiversity protection. Greenfleet has worked with them for many years revegetating parts of Victoria and helping to restore ecosystems in those areas. For these projects, the importance of local support to our regional work goes beyond growing and planting native trees.
From seed collectors to earth movers to local farmers, Paul says there are many people who benefit from the employment opportunities provided by our joint projects. Specialty earth work and weed management teams within these communities are also critical in ensuring the success of a new forest. Because of this, Paul reflects that there is “no way to separate the local communities and the projects that we work on together,” and that there is often economic benefit to communities from our joint projects.
Another of our long-standing relationships is with Smolders Revegetation in South Gippsland. As Greenfleet’s projects have increased in the area, this relationship has allowed the indigenous plant nursery to grow and offer more services.
Owner Frank Smolders says that “Greenfleet has given us the opportunity to grow with the industry.”
Smolders Nursery supported the cultivation of seedlings used in the revegetation project at Battery Creek in South Gippsland, Victoria.
Investing locally also decreases the need for extensive travel when sourcing trees and services needed for our work. Where possible, we buy, hire and source as locally as we can. This is important to us from an environmental perspective and, as a not-for-profit organisation, it also helps ensures that our supporter funds are delivering the best outcomes possible.
In addition to the environmental benefits of our work, we aim to continue to maintain strong relationships with our regional teams and suppliers. Through this, we hope we can continue to bring benefits to the local communities and economies that we work in.