Paul Omodei

Paul Omodei


    Timber industry assistance program launched

    11/08/2000 2:12 PM

    State Forest Products Minister Paul Omodei and Commonwealth Forestry and Conservation Minister Wilson Tuckey have reached agreement on guidelines for assistance for the development of the timber industry in Western Australia.

    Following the agreement, the first round of Industry Development Assistance Grants will be advertised tomorrow (Sat.)

    Mr Tuckey said the industry assistance grants were part of the WA Forest Industry Structural Adjustment Program (FISAP), which had total funding of $38.5 million.

    FISAP was an integral part of the Regional Forest Agreement and was designed to ensure that individuals and communities benefitted from changes in forest management.

    Mr Omodei said the grants would be the start of important new developments in the native hardwood timber industry which would result in greater employment and greater product value from less timber.

    They would encourage existing and potential participants in the native hardwood timber industry to implement initiatives which would improve the sustainable use of native timber.

    He expected that support would be given to proposals which:
    • increased levels of value adding, downstream processing and manufacturing, and created sustainable employment;
    • led to the development of mills capable of processing short logs and secondary processes that handled short lengths of timber;
    • created joint ventures and rationalised existing capacity;
    • promoted clustering around the resource base and existing processing capacity; and -
    • assisted the WA native forest products industry through research and development, marketing and promotion.

    “The native timber industry is probably the most ecologically sustainable industry in WA, and the State Government wants to maximise the economic and social benefits from it,” Mr Omodei said.

    “With more than a million hectares of forest reserved from logging, WA has exceeded national and international conservation standards.”

    Mr Tuckey said the most important issue now was to generate higher levels of sustainable economic activity for the benefit of regional communities and the State as a whole.

    “There is great potential to expand national and international markets for value-added timber products,” he said.

    “Industry development assistance will normally be in the form of interest free loans for up to 20 per cent of the agreed capital, with the loans converting to grants on the achievement of agreed targets.”

    Guidelines and application forms are available from CALM’s Forest Products Division on 08 9475 8888, with the first round of applications closing on September 8.

    Media contacts:
    Mr Omodei’s office: Hugh Ryan 9213 6700