Government backs Tasmanian forest contractors

The Australian Government has announced its support to Tasmania’s forest contractors with a $20 million restructuring package.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Joe Ludwig said the Government were committed to supporting contractors and a sustainable forest industry. 

“The Federal Government recognises the challenges facing the forest industry in Tasmania,” Minister Ludwig said.

“I am here to meet the Gillard Government’s commitment to make this package a priority and to demonstrate to affected communities that we mean to deliver.”

Minister Ludwig met with Tasmanian Minister for Resources Bryan Green and key forest industry representatives on Wednesday to start discussions on the make-up of the package.

Mr Green said the State Government had provided emergency funding totalling $5.4 million for contractors and welcomed the Federal assistance.

“Forest contractors have been doing it extremely tough and it is important we move quickly to provide the necessary relief,” Mr Green said. 

Minister Ludwig said his meeting with industry representatives was an important step in building relationships, establishing trust and identifying future directions for the industry.

“We have now asked Federal and State government agencies together with union and contractor representatives to formulate an implementation plan to be presented to us as soon as possible,” Mr Ludwig said. 

“Negotiations have been progressing well and I look forward to ongoing discussions to achieve the outcomes we all hope for.”

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