- McGowan Government reaches agreement with native timber industry on support program
- Business Transition Program will assist native forestry businesses to either diversify or leave the industry
- Program allocation increased to $26.9 million
The McGowan Government has reached agreement with the Forest Industries Federation WA (FIFWA) on a $26.9 million Business Transition Program.
The Business Transition Program will provide financial support to native timber sawmills and harvesters before native forest logging ends in 2024.
The package includes an Industry Restructure Payment, which will be based on contract volumes. Businesses can use this payment at their discretion to support activities such as diversification or to exit the industry.
Sawmills and harvesters will also be eligible to receive further support of up to $225,000 for redundancy payments, site clean-up and equipment reimbursement.
Firewood will continue to be made available after 2024 through forest management activities that improve forest health and clearing for approved mining operations.
Under the Business Transition Program, firewood processors will be eligible for funding support of $50,000 if they do not win a future contract and exit the industry.
The McGowan Government reached agreement with FIFWA on the revised program following extensive consultation since September last year.
For second tier businesses who do not have a direct contractual relationship with the Forest Products Commission, there will be further opportunities for support within the industry and community development programs of the transition, which will be released in the coming months.
The McGowan Government established the $50 million Just Transition Fund in 2021 to help workers, businesses and communities adjust following the historic decision to protect Western Australian native forests.
Agreement was reached with the Australian Workers Union on financial support programs for native forestry workers in February.
Separate programs to support communities and attract new industries to the South-West are currently in development.
The McGowan Government is also investing $350 million over the 10 years to support the softwood pine plantation industry.
More information on the Native Forest Transition and how to pre-register for the transition programs is available here.
Comments attributed to Forestry Minister Dave Kelly:
"The McGowan Government has reached an agreement on the Business Transition Program for the native forestry industry with the Forest Industries Federation WA.
"We listened closely to the concerns of industry and the South-West community and have significantly increased the support available.
"The program will provide support to businesses who choose to exit the industry and to those who plan to diversify their operations."
Comments attributed to Warren-Blackwood MLA Jane Kelsbie:
"I am proud of the McGowan Government's decision to protect our native forests.
"I have listened closely to the concerns of native timber businesses in Warren-Blackwood and have strongly advocated for increased support to assist them transition.
"I welcome the increased support for businesses in my electorate."
Minister's office - 6552 6100