- McGowan Government provides additional $30 million to the Just Transition Plan
- New funding to create an Industry and Community Development program
- $80 million now allocated to workers, businesses, and communities linked to forestry
- South-West native forests to be protected from logging from 2024
- In addition to record $350 million to expand WA's softwood timber plantations - creating and supporting sustainable jobs in the South-West
The McGowan Labor Government is providing a $30 million boost in the 2022-23 State Budget to the Just Transition Plan to create a new program to assist regional communities' transition to new industries when native forest logging ends in 2024.
This takes the total allocated to the Just Transition Plan to $80 million.
The $30 million Industry and Community Development program will be established in consultation with key community and industry stakeholders, and support industry attraction, small business growth and community projects in the South-West.
The State Government has been supporting workers, businesses and communities linked to the native forest industry since September 2021, in preparation for the end to native forest logging from 2024.
Workforce Transition Programs were agreed with the Australian Workers' Union, including the Worker Transition Payment of up to $45,000 and support for reskilling and retraining. Workers can pre-register for this support until 3pm Friday May 6, 2022.
Agreement was recently reached with the Forest Industries Federation Western Australia on the Business Support Program. This $26.9 million program was announced last week and provides support for sawmills and harvest and haulage businesses.
These programs are in addition to the McGowan Government's record $350 million investment in new softwood plantations across the South-West, which will create and support WA forestry jobs.
The decision to end native forest logging from 2024 saves an additional 400,000 hectares of karri, jarrah and wandoo forests, resulting in the protection of almost two million hectares of native forest for future generations.
For further information on Native Forest Transition programs, visit www.wa.gov.au
Comments attributed to Forestry Minister Dave Kelly:
"Increasing the Just Transition Plan fund to $80 million will provide more support for workers, businesses and communities in the South-West.
"Recently we have announced the programs that will provide significant support to workers and businesses in the native forest industry.
"The McGowan Government's historic decision to protect our magnificent native forests provides significant opportunities for South-West communities.
"The additional $30 million of funding will be used to support the transition of regional communities and the further growth of regional economies."
Comments attributed to Warren-Blackwood MLA Jane Kelsbie:
"I have been listening closely to the communities in my electorate who are transitioning, following the historic decision to end logging of native forests in 2024.
"I've been fighting hard to make sure that the native timber workforce is supported through this change. My job as the local member is to advocate for my community, the businesses and workers, and make sure the feedback they have been sharing is being heard.
"This extra funding is great news for the community and will provide them with valuable support in identifying economic opportunities and transitioning to new industries in the future."
Minister's office - 6552 6100