The State Government will inject $4.5 million into the South East forestry industry to generate more investment and jobs.
Forests Minister Leon Bignell has visited the South East to make the announcement, and said the funding was being offered to four companies through Phase Two of the South East Forestry Partnerships Program, and will contribute to projects worth more than $20 million.
“The program was created to help the forest and forest products industry to recovery by encouraging further investment in new and existing businesses,” he said.
“Phase One of the program saw the joint investment of $34 million in the forest processing sector in the South East, with $15.38 million in State Government grants awarded to successful applicants.
“The four Phase Two grants are consistent with the recommendations outlined in the Stage Two report from the Cellulose Fibre Value Chain Study, and will support further value adding along the timber supply chain.
“It will also support innovation and the introduction of new technologies.”
The successful Phase Two applicants are required to enter into a funding agreement with the State Government. They had to match government funding on a dollar for dollar basis, payable upon achievement of key milestones as defined in the funding agreement.
However, most will be contributing to projects at a higher rate than just matching the State Government’s contribution.
Minister Bignell said a further $7.1 million was available to fund similar projects, and a third phase of SEFPP grants will open around March.
“It is imperative taxpayers’ money is spent on projects that will make a real difference for the South East – projects that maintain jobs and allow the forestry industry to grow,” he said.
“The further $7.1 million funding will support projects that meet the criteria of the Cellulose Fibre Value Chain Study, and an industry seminar will take place soon to help the industry prepare viable proposals in a subsequent call for new projects.”
Minister Bignell said the South East forestry region was a world-class timber resource and the Forest and Wood Products Industry is an integral part of South Australia’s economy.
“The four projects will maintain or increase employment, as well as retain or expand regional timber processing in the South East of South Australia,” he said.
Grants have been approved for the following projects: