Tasmania: Extended support for contractors

Wednesday 29 Jul 2020

AFCA has welcomed the announcement made by the Tasmanian Liberal Government to extend the Forestry Contractor Resilience Program to January 2021. This was set up to support Tasmanian Forestry Contractors to access business coaching and improvements. AFCA participated in the Forestry Roundtable last week, where the announcement was made.

It became apparent during roundtable discussions last week with Minister for Resources, The Hon Guy Barnett MP that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is still yet to be fully felt by the industry. This follows news in recent days of uncertainty for forestry contracting businesses that are expected to face significantly reduced production quotas against contracted volumes over the coming months.

The reduced quotas are likely to result in forestry contracting businesses facing serious financial implications, with high fixed costs and equipment finance commitments that will still need to be met. In addition, there is a serious concern around the possible loss of skilled employees that will be devastating for regional areas in the current climate.

The Forestry Contractor Resilience Program is going to be extended from 31 July 2020 to 29 January 2021 to further support Tasmanian forestry contractors. Both the Australian and Tasmanian Governments have also announced stimulus packages, many of which can be accessed by forestry companies. Tasmania’s forestry contractors can apply under the AU$500,000 Forestry Contractor Resilience Program for funding to improve their business practices, which is being delivered through Rural Business Tasmania.

Under the program, Tasmanian forestry harvest and haulage contractors have the opportunity to work with specialists in business and financial management to identify future opportunities and build stability and resilience into their operations. Eligible applicants will receive five hours of professional business coaching and may also be eligible for up to AU$15,000 to deliver agreed business improvements.

The Program’s guidelines and application form are available from Rural Business Tasmania at www.ruralbusinesstasmania.org.au.

Source: AFCA, Guy Barnett, Minister for Resources

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