22 September 2010
Joint media release
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Joe Ludwig
State Minister for Primary Industries and Water Bryan Green
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig, said today the Australian Government was committed to quickly rolling out funds to support Tasmania’s forest contractors.
Minister Ludwig said the promised $20 million Commonwealth restructuring package was a priority to help contractors.
“The Gillard Government recognises the challenges facing the forest industry in Tasmania,” Minister Ludwig said.
“I am here to meet our commitment to make this package a priority and to demonstrate to affected communities that we mean to deliver.”
Minister Ludwig today met with State Minister for Resources, Bryan Green, and key forest industry representatives today in Hobart to commence 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.
“Both the Australian and Tasmanian Governments are intent on supporting a sustainable and profitable forest industry,” Mr Green said.
“Forest contractors have been doing it extremely tough and it is important we move quickly to provide the necessary relief.”
“Minister Ludwig said his meeting with industry representatives was very productive and 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 as soon as possible.”
Minister Ludwig said he also appreciated the commitment and cooperation between all the key stakeholders in talks about the broader future of the State’s forest industry.
“Negotiations have been progressing well and I look forward to ongoing discussions to achieve the outcomes we all hope for.”
Minister Ludwig today met with Mr Rodney Bishop, Chairman of the Tasmanian Forest Contractors Association, Mr Colin McCulloch, Chairman of Australian Forest Contractors Association, as well as union representatives.