What is the Forestry Business Transition Voucher Program?

The Forestry Business Transition Voucher (FBTV) program is part of the Victorian Government’s broader $120 million Victorian Forestry Plan Transition Package that focuses on retaining industry and community capability and jobs. The $1.1 million program will assist directly impacted businesses obtain support to plan for their future.

 

Background

The Victorian Forestry Plan has been developed to assist the industry as it manages a gradual transition away from native timber harvesting. Under the plan, VicForests will meet existing contractual obligations and negotiate new sawlog supply contracts for all mills to mid-2024.

From 2024 to 2030, a competitive process will be used for timber allocation with commercial native timber harvesting in State forests phased out by 2030.

The Forestry Business Transition Voucher program offers access to tailored support through business services to equip affected businesses with a better understanding of their business capabilities, options and strategies for transition.

 

Objective

The Forestry Business Transition Voucher program will provide eligible businesses with support to better understand their business capabilities, options and strategies for transition. This will be achieved by providing intensive support to equip businesses with options and strategies for transition.

 

Funding

Under voucher-type programs, funding is paid to the Registered Service Provider once the services have been satisfactorily provided.

The Forestry Business Transition Voucher Program is capped at a maximum value of $25,000 (exclusive of GST). Participants will be required to meet any additional costs where the total project cost exceeds the value of support provided by the Department. For example, if the total cost of agreed services between the Participant and the Registered Service Provider is $35,000 (exclusive of GST), the Voucher will cover the maximum of $25,000 (exclusive of GST) and the remaining $10,000 (exclusive of GST) must be covered by the Participant.

Agreed services that total less than $25,000 (exclusive of GST) will be covered by the Voucher, without any requirement for the Participant to make a cash co-contribution.

The Department reserves the right to determine the value of the support, which may be less than the amount requested by the Participant.

 

Eligible Projects

Funding under the FBTV program is for the purpose of a Business Diagnostic and if requested preparation of a Business Transition Plan or Update of a Business Transition Plan (if approved).

 

Eligible Applicants

Eligible Participants are businesses that either:

  • hold a current VicForests Timber Supply Agreement; or
  • hold a Forest Produce Licence issued by VicForests; or
  • are a timber harvest and/or haulage business with a current VicForests Agreement.

Eligible businesses must also meet all the following criteria to be eligible for assistance under the FBTV program:

  • have an Australian Business Number (ABN);
  • conduct business operations within Victoria; and
  • meet all industrial relations obligations as an employer in accordance with the National Employment Standards under the Fair Work
    Act 2009 (Cth).

 

Timing

Applications close 31 March 2021.

 

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