More jobs and support are available for the East Gippsland native timber industry and local communities thanks to funding from the Forestry Transition Program.

Newmerella-based business Dahlsens Steel Truss and Frame has received a $500,000 Forestry Transition Fund grant to expand their operations and directly employ up to 16 local native timber workers.

The business has begun employing former sawmill workers, with the grant supporting new roles in steel truss and frame manufacturing, fabrication, labouring and administration.

Over the next 12 months, the grant will help expand the business’ operations on a former sawmill site located at Newmerella. The site has potential to become Newmerella’s industrial hub, further boosting job opportunities.

Dahlsens Steel Truss and Frame Director Lachlan Heather is an Orbost local from a multi-generational family of native hardwood timber workers. He recently moved back to Orbost to establish the steel truss and frame business after seeing a market for steel products and access to a local workforce with a suitable skillset.

The Forestry Transition Fund provides grants up to $1 million for businesses and industry groups to expand, diversify or start new businesses. Applicants that provide direct and ongoing employment to former native timber workers will receive a $20,000 wage subsidy per worker in addition to their grant.

Page last updated: 09/05/24