Gardening Australia host Costa visits garden maintained by offenders

Manoora Community Garden, which is maintained by offenders on community service orders will get a visit from Costa Georgiadis this weekend.

The host of ABC’s Gardening Australia, Costa will visit Manoora Community Garden in Cairns on 21 July 2018 for Conversations with Costa.

Queensland Corrective Services Commissioner Peter Martin said an offender ordered to complete their community service is placed on a project in accordance with their risks and needs.

“Assigning an offender to a project helps to reconnect them with their community while also giving them life and vocational skills to increase their chances of getting a job upon completion,” Commissioner Martin said.

“Programs such as these are also proven to be effective in improving community safety by reducing recidivism.”

The offenders from Queensland Corrective Services’ Cairns District Office completing their community service order at the Manoora Community Garden were part of the Cairns Queensland Corrective Service Graffiti Reduction Project.

Commissioner Martin said the program had 72 offenders involved and they had completed approximately 6000 hours of community service in the 2017-18 year across many projects, with about half of the total hours going towards removing graffiti.

“The many hours of hard work provided by the offenders equates to about $150,000 financial value to the community,” he said.

“The community garden is one of many community service projects in Cairns. Other projects include tree planting, painting jump poles at pony clubs and helping out at major sporting events such as the 2017 World Mountain Bike Championships.

“The offenders on this project have maintained a garden of seasonal edible food, as well as providing technical and manual assistance for a new shed.

“To have Costa visit the Manoora Community Garden is a credit to the hard work of the offenders who have helped the garden thrive.”

For full event details on Conversations with Costa, visit the Manoora Community Garden Facebook page.