Tasmanian Forests Agreement
The Prime Minister and the Tasmanian Premier have announced a $276 million funding package to support the adjustment of the Tasmanian forestry industry, and to create a significant conservation benefit by reserving and protecting High Conservation Value native forest areas.
The Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement is designed to support the forest industry to progressively transition to a more sustainable and diversified footing and to build regional economic diversity and community resilience.
The agreement includes:
Support for workers, contractors and communities
• up to $25 million to provide immediate employment and training support for
redundant forest workers
• intensive support through Job Services Australia and other providers
• relocation support for redundant forestry workers
• $15 million for transition support payments (through ForestWorks)
• $1 million over two years for mental health counselling and community
well-being services (through Rural Alive and Well)
• $45 million for voluntary exits from public native forest operations for haulage,
harvest and silvicultural contractors.
Tasmanian forest industry workers can call the Tasmanian Forest Support Information Line on 1800 648 075 for more information about the services and payments that may be available to them.
Protecting high conservation value forests and ensuring sustainable wood supply
• guaranteed annual sustainable timber supply of at least 155,000 cubic metres
of high quality sawlog per year and 265,000 cubic metres
of peeler billets each year
• provision for speciality timber, noting that the industry claim is 12,500 cubic metres
per year, subject to verification
• funding to support an independent verification process
• funding for a voluntary sawlog contract buy-back program for sawmillers wishing
to exit the industry
• 430,000 hectares of native forest immediately placed into Informal Reserves
• legislation no later than 30 June 2012 to formally protect the areas of reserve
determined by the independent verification
• $43 million to implement this Agreement (including at least $5million to support
provision of information and consultation with affected communities)
• $7 million per year to support management of additional reserves.
• $120 million over 15 years to fund regional development projects
• development of a process to identify by mid 2012:
- the impacts of forestry adjustment on affected regions, including the scope for
alternative sectors and jobs to support regional adjustment
- progress in implementing Commonwealth and Tasmanian adjustment measures
- the need for further regional development assistance
• a major research and analytical project to underpin this process.
- Prime Minister’s media release
- Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement [PDF]
- Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement reserves map [PDF]