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Army fields engineers for bushland reserve

The Construction Squadron has been lending muscle to improvements at the Crinigan Road Bushland Reserve

By Latrobe City Council - 29th November 2001 - Back to News

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Twenty three members of the 39 Construction Squadron based at Newborough, part of the 22 Construction Regiment, have been lending muscle to improvements at the Crinigan Road Bushland Reserve in Morwell.

The Army Reserve members from all walks of civilian life led by Staff Sergeant McEvoy have spent nine days with heavy equipment at the reserve, building culverts and open line drains and creating an access track and car park.

Latrobe City Mayor, Councillor Brendan Jenkins, said Council had provided funding for the materials such as crushed rock, drainage pipes and bollards, and the Army Reserve had fielded the muscle and the expertise. Itís an arrangement that we welcome and would like to continue, as the end results go beyond what can normally be achieved by a committee of management," Cr Jenkins said.

Staff Sergeant McEvoy said that those taking part in the exercise were all trained as combat engineers who would specialise in fields such as plant operators or in areas such as mine warfare, transport or demolition.

"Work such as that being undertaken at Crinigan Road Reserve gives the Army Reserve the chance to hone skills such as in surveying, and gain valuable experience," Staff Sergeant McEvoy said.

"The men and women taking part are also enhancing their opportunities in civilian life. The Army Reserve provides them with courses in bridging and driving heavy vehicles for example, and the qualifications they receive are recognised outside of the Army. Itís also a good recruiting drive. The public see the work being carried out and get to talk to the men and women undertaking the construction about opportunities in the Army Reserve," Staff Sergeant McEvoy added.

President of the Crinigan Road Bushland Reserve Committee of Management, Dick Donchi, said the work being undertaken by the field engineers would contribute greatly to enhancing the Reserve.

"Weíre always happy to receive assistance and there are many corporate organisations that have given a hand in the past, but this must be the most significant help we have had to date," Mr Donchi said.

"In the longer term we hope the Army Reserve will be able to help with the construction of an access track right around the perimeter. Itís been very heavy going this week because the ground is so wet, but thereís still been an enormous amount of work completed. We are particularly grateful to the Army for the work they have undertaken, and also to RTL who donated the use of a low loader so that the heavy equipment could be moved from the Army Reserve at Newborough to Crinigan Road.

"More and more people are hearing about and using the reserve. They come here for picnics or to take a stroll on the paths through the bushland. We have long term plans that involve the construction of toilets, a pergola and barbeque area and I think all of this can be achieved. The recent fencing has enhanced the security and identified the reserve as a no-go area for motor bikes and off road vehicles, and reaffirmed its status as a significant asset in Latrobe for conservation and passive recreation," Mr Donchi said.

For further information on the Army Reserve, contact the Newborough Training Depot, telephone 5127 6777.


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