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Wednesday, 10 May 2000
Page: 16242

Mr Laurie Ferguson asked the Minister for Forestry and Conservation, upon notice, on 9 March 2000:

(1) Following the signing of the North East Victoria Regional Forest Agreement (RFA) on 23 August 1999, what total sum of Commonwealth Forest Industry Structural Adjustment Package funding has been earmarked for the region.

(2) What sum, if any, of Commonwealth funding has been provided to date to the timber industry and workers in the region for (a) industry development assistance, (b) business exit assistance, (c) worker assistance, (d) rescheduling assistance and (e) industry positioning and research on sustainable forest management.

(3) What is the estimated sum, if any, of further Commonwealth funding for each of the categories of expenditure referred to in part (2) in (a) 1999-2000 and (b) 2000-2001.

Mr Tuckey (Minister for Forestry and Conservation and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) The Commonwealth has committed $18.8m to the Forest Industry Structural Adjustment Package (FISAP) for Victoria which will be applied across the whole of the State with no specific amounts earmarked for a particular RFA region.

(2) (a) (b) (c) (d) and (e) Nil.

(3) As noted in my response to Question (1), no Commonwealth FISAP funds have been earmarked for a particular RFA region. FISAP will be implemented in full across the State following the signing of the remaining RFA's in Victoria and I would expect most of the Commonwealth's commitment to be spent in 2000-2001.