Assisting the long-term future of the state’s timber industry

15/11/2012

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The State Government will provide up to $27 million in assistance to the private sector for capital investment in the state's timber industry, creating and securing jobs in the South-East now and into the future.

Treasurer Jack Snelling said the funding - originally offered as assistance to timber company Carter Holt Harvey - would now be opened up to the whole of the industry in the South East of the state.

"Despite months of good faith negotiations, Carter Holt Harvey could not reach agreement with the Government on any assistance," Mr Snelling said.

"After calls from other industry stakeholders, we have therefore decided to create a South East Forestry Partnerships Program of up to $27 million which will provide a short-term stimulus to drive long-term investment into the forestry industry.

"We know there have been a number of short-term cyclical issues currently facing the timber industry that has meant the industry has been doing it tough in recent times.

"There is a bright future ahead however and this money will help drive capital investment and upgrades so the industry and the South-East are best placed to capitalise when conditions improve."

Manufacturing, Innovation and Trade Minister Tom Koutsantonis said it was envisaged that the funding would require interested parties to match the Government investment on at least a 1:1 basis.

"The industry co-investment package is aimed at encouraging a viable and strong timber sawmilling industry," Mr Koutsantonis said.

"Improvements would enable the industry to better withstand the short-term cyclical downturns that are presently being felt in the market and enable the local industry to compete more competitively in the world market.

"Importantly any funding would see both the Government as well as industry investing in the region, creating and securing jobs now and into the future."

Mr Koutsantonis said applications would be assessed under the following criteria:

  • have strategic importance for the State and/or SouthEeast region in the forest and
  • forest products sector;
  • have a positive and sustainable impact on economic activity in the South East by
  • retaining or expanding regional timber processing;
  • impact favourably on employment in the region by maintaining or growing employment
  • where possible;
  • be economically, financially or commercially viable, and sustainable in the medium to
  • longer term;
  • maximise leverage from alternative sources of funding; and
  • are innovative in nature.

The funding is accessible by eligible applicants in the South-East who have or are able to enter into contractual relations to purchase timber from the successful bidders of the forward sale of forest rotations Onefortyone Plantations Pty Ltd.

Funding of capital upgrades must be of new projects starting from 5 November, 2012.

To receive more information about the co-investment funding program please visit www.dmitre.sa.gov.au/sefpp and register your interest.