The $36 million Forestry Transition Fund supports job creation and business development in or around the native timber communities in Gippsland and the north-east of the state.

Round 1 supports the immediate creation of jobs in towns and communities affected by the Forestry Transition Program, particularly jobs for displaced timber workers.

The fund will support:

  • The creation or maintenance of jobs and economic growth with a focus on permanent jobs for displaced native timber workers through:
    • expanding existing operations
    • establishing new operations
    • diversifying operations.
  • Business, industry, or community groups, local government authorities, or other organizations to provide enabling infrastructure to activate job-creating projects in the affected towns or communities.

The Transition Fund – Round 1 is being delivered as a contestable funding round in 2 stages:

  • Stage 1 – Expression of Interest.
  • Stage 2 – Eligible applicants will be invited to submit an application.

Available funding

Grants of up to $1 million and wage subsidies of $20,000 per native timber worker are available.

Approximately $4 million of the $36 million of funding is available through Round 1.

Who can apply

  • Private sector businesses
  • Business and industry groups including:
    • Chambers of commerce and business associations
    • Industry peak bodies
    • Business and industry clusters and networks (noting that a cluster or network would need to nominate a business or entity to enter into the funding agreement and take on primary responsibility and liability for delivering the project).

Applications to provide infrastructure to ensure Forestry Transition Fund projects can be delivered may be considered from:

  • utility and services providers
  • water corporations
  • Local Government Authorities
  • incorporated not-for-profit organisations that operate as a business.

Funded activities

The types of things that can be funded include:

  • The development of new facilities such as factories, offices, or shops, expanding existing facilities or repurposing facilities
  • The introduction of new technologies, innovations, plant and equipment, systems, and processes including:
    • Skilling up workers
    • New utility and service connections and/or upgrades
    • Project management activities

How to apply

Step 1: Assess if a project is eligible

To make sure projects are suitable, all applicants will need to go through the following process:

  • Read the Forestry Transition Fund application guidelines carefully to establish a proposed project’s eligibility.
  • Read the grant agreement terms and conditions for the funding offered.
  • Discuss the proposed project and its eligibility with a Forestry Transition Program Business Transition Coordinator.
Forestry Business Transition Coordinators

Step 2: Submit an Expression of Interest

The Expression of Interest form requires the applicant to provide the following information and commitments:

  • An outline explaining the business opportunity
  • An outline explaining what the requested funding will be used for
  • For a business not located in one of the eligible towns, a description of how the business has or will be significantly affected by the implementation of the Forestry Transition Program
  • The amount and type of employment that will be generated or retained
  • Their business’s Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • Confirmation that the funded business will operate in Victoria
  • Declare that they meet all industrial relations obligations as an employer in accordance with the National Employment Standards under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth)
  • A declaration that the business:
    • Consents to sharing information with Australian and State government departments and agencies and the Australian Business Register for the purpose of verifying the information provided in the Expression of Interest and Application
    • Understands that if their application is successful, the delivery of funding is subject to the business entering into a grant agreement on conditions consistent with those consistent in the Standard Grant Agreement.

    Submit an Expression of Interest

Stage 2: Application

If Expression of Interest is successful, the applicant will be sent a link to complete an application form.

Applicants will need to demonstrate clearly how the project will address the objectives of the Forestry Transition Fund. Applications should clearly and succinctly describe the project by detailing:

  • The key activities to be undertaken
  • Project management arrangements
  • Resource requirements

Applications should include documentation to support the project such as:

  • The relevant Local Development Strategy business case
  • A feasibility study
  • A business plan
  • Letters of support from local government or community organisations

Applicants are required to provide copies of annual reports and financial statements (audited profit and loss statements and balance sheets for government agencies and not-for-profit organisations) covering the last 3 years with their application. This will enable the assessment of the financial viability of the applicant and their ability to manage and complete the project.

Applications are to be submitted via the link provided and must be authorised by a person with authority to bind the organisation.

Key dates

Expression of Interest open: 23 August 2023

Expression of Interest close: 5 pm Friday 22 March 2024 (unless the program is fully subscribed prior)

Applications close: 5 pm Friday 28 June 2024

Frequently asked questions

The Transition Fund supports job creation and business development in towns affected by the Forestry Transition Program.

Applications will be accepted from eligible business or other organisations operating in or near the following towns or communities:

  • Bairnsdale
  • Benalla
  • Corryong
  • Heyfield, Maffra
  • Koondrook
  • Longwarry
  • Murrindindi (Alexandra, Taggerty, Buxton, Marysville, Narbethong)
  • Noojee
  • Nowa Nowa, Buchan, Bruthen
  • Orbost
  • Swifts Creek, Omeo
  • Yarra Ranges (Powelltown, Yarra Junction, Warburton)
  • Yarram

There is supported to help you complete an application.

You can contact:

Forestry Business Transition Coordinators

Gippsland communities can also access business support and advice through their local council business concierge services:

Latrobe City Council

Phone: 1300 367 700
Email: Andrea.Stanlake@latrobe.vic.gov.au

Baw Baw Shire Council

Phone: 1300 229 229
Email: yourbusiness@bawbawshire.vic.gov.au

Wellington Shire Council

Phone: 1300 366 244 or 5153 9500
Email: business@wellington.vic.gov.au

East Gippsland Shire Council

Email: economic.development@egipps.vic.gov.au

Yes, further rounds will be released once the first round is exhausted.

Page last updated: 31/05/24