Get into the Green Army and stay out of the red

Green Army participants starting or finishing conservation projects need to report any changes that will affect their eligibility for Newstart, Youth Allowance or other income support payments.

Department of Human Services General Manager Hank Jongen said it was important for income support recipients to avoid a debt by telling the department if they join the Green Army.

“If you receive an income support payment like Newstart or Youth Allowance and start in the Green Army, make sure you let us know as soon as you can, by bringing your acceptance letter to your local Department of Human Services service centre,” Mr Jongen said.

“Full-time Green Army Participants working 30 hours each week will receive an allowance directly from their Green Army Service Provider, and any income support will be suspended for this time.

“Part-time Green Army Participants working from 15 to 29 hours per week can elect to receive the Green Army allowance or continue to receive income support, depending on the best arrangements for their individual circumstances.

“The main thing is to tell us as soon as possible, so we can discuss what’s best for your situation. This will help you avoid being overpaid and having to pay back a debt.

“Like any major change to your circumstances, you should let us know within 14 days of being accepted into the Green Army.”

Mr Jongen said it was equally important for people to contact the department once they finish a Green Army project, if they plan to continue claiming an income support payment.

“Some Green Army projects have recently wrapped up, and I congratulate those who have found jobs as a result of their participation,” Mr Jongen said.

“People who are continuing to look for work should let us know within 14 days of finishing the Green Army so any payments they are eligible for can be reinstated.

“Those who don’t update us in a timely way will need to lodge a new claim in order to be assessed for a job seeker payment.”

The Green Army is voluntary for people aged 17 to 24 seeking to gain employment skills and experience, while working on projects that generate real and lasting benefits for the environment. More than 450 projects have already rolled out across Australia.

Anyone interested in participating can register their interest at: australia.gov.au/greenarmy

Information for income support recipients joining the Green Army is available at: humanservices.gov.au/greenarmy

Related resources

Audio

Download audio: Get into the Green Army and stay out of the red – Audio grab 1 (MP3, 331kb)

Spoken by Department of Human Services General Manger Hank Jongen.

Transcript: If you receive a Centrelink payment like Newstart or Youth Allowance and start in the Green Army, you need to tell us within 14 days.

Download audio: Get into the Green Army and stay out of the red – Audio grab 2 (MP3, 485kb)

Spoken by Department of Human Services General Manger Hank Jongen.

Transcript: Visit humanservices.gov.au and search Green Army to find out more.

Image

Green Army participant

Download image: Green Army participant (JPG, 279kb)