Tasmanian Forests Agreement Status Update

Last week the Tasmanian Legislative Council decided to refer the Tasmanian Forest Agreement Bill to a select committee. This process is expected to take some time, but it is hoped that the issue will be resolved as early as possible in the new year.  The Governments are currently working through the implications of the Legislative Council’s decision, including for funding and timing of the key programs that were to be delivered following enactment of the Bill. We will provide updates on outcomes as we progress through this process.   The Governments remain committed to implementing the Agreement and will be doing all they can to achieve this.

Funding Package for TFA Announced

On the 11 December 2012 the Federal and State Governments announced a funding package to support the Signatories Agreement. The package includes an additional $102 million on top of the already committed $277 million for the Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement. The additional funding will help Tasmania implement the Agreement established between the Reference Group of Signatories.

The additional funding from the Federal Government for the Agreement will consist of:

- $28 million to support industry restructuring including support for workers and contractors

- $25 million to support regional structural adjustment, sustainable residue solutions and encourage innovation in the use of plantation timber

- a further $2 million additional per year ($6 million 2014-17) to support the ongoing management of additional reserves, bringing the total to $9 million per year in perpetuity

- $3.5 million to support implementation of the Signatories Agreement including the establishment of the Special Council; forestry industry certification; and securing the durability of the Agreement

The Tasmanian Government has committed to providing an additional $39.5 million to assist industry to transition to the new operating environment and support for the Special Council and securing durability of the Agreement.

The flow of the funding is dependent on the Legislation that gives effect to the Agreement passing through the Legislative Council and the making of a Protection Order for the new reserve estate.

Link to Media Release

Counselling Support

Support is still being provided through Rural Alive and Well to support workers, families and community members affected by changes in the industry – to access this important support please contact:

Rural Alive &Well Inc,
9 Blackwell Road, Melton Mowbray, TAS 7030
Telephone: (03) 62593014
Fax: (03) 62593014
Email: admin@rawtas.com.au
http://www.rawtas.com.au/

Employment & Training Support

Employment, training and relocation assistance for forest industry workers made redundant on or after 1 June 2011 as a result of the forestry Industry restructuring is still available.

Relocation expenses for redundant Tasmanian forest workers who find work in another area may be available through the Commonwealths ‘Connecting People with Jobs’ program: http://www.deewr.gov.au/employment/pages/connectingpeoplewjobs.aspx

Tasmanian forest industry workers and businesses can call the Tasmanian Forest Support Line on 1800 648 075 for more information about the services and payments that may be available to them.

The Tasmanian Forests Agreement continues to provide intensive and personalised support for redundant Forestry workers through an extended program being delivered by ForestWorks.

ForestWorks assists job seekers by providing information about the job market, personal evaluations, a skills audit, intensive personal and ongoing support.

Coordinators and Project Officers include ex Forestry workers and will assist participants by engaging them with services available to help them on their pathway to employment. Coordinators and project officers will work in conjunction with Job Service Australia providers and other key stakeholders to assist workers.

Forest workers are able to access more information about this program and their eligibility by contacting ForestWorks or visiting www.forestworks.com.au

ForestWorks
Shop 4 Cornwall Transit Centre,  (opposite the police station)
Cimitiere St, Launceston, Tas  7250
PO Box 2146
Launceston TAS 7250
Phone: 036331 6077
forestworks@forestworks.com.au