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Federal Government helps timber towns.



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Last updated: 26 July 2004

Federal Government helps timber towns

DAFF04/148M 26 July 2004

Western Australia's timber workers, communities and businesses have 15 million reasons to smile today with the Australian Government announcing the successful applicants in the Forestry Assistance Program (FAP) and Grants for Forest Communities (GFC) projects.

Australian Forestry and Conservation Minister Senator Ian Macdonald, who is in Western Australia today with local members Don Randall, Geoff Prosser and Wilson Tuckey to make the announcement, said the money would assist the continuing development of the forest and timber industry.

"This money lends a helping hand to an industry that has been bruised and battered by a State government that has slashed timber allocations to a ridiculous level," Senator Macdonald said.

"It will secure existing jobs and create around 900 new jobs for the many workers that have been thrown out of work by the Gallop Government's callousness.

"Many businesses have had the tenacity to hang on through this tough period, and I would hope this money will help them make the best out of the current situation.

"I am also pleased to see money going to the communities that have depended upon the forest for decades. It is imperative that they are given assistance to find new ways to keep these regions viable."

Projects that have secured funding include new and upgraded processing equipment to add value to timber, harvesting and hauling equipment for plantation forests, and help with many new and exciting ideas, like construction of the world's largest wooden clock.

A list of the successful FAP and GFC applicants is attached.

There are some other applications still being considered, and further announcements will be made shortly.

Senator Macdonald said today's launch kept a commitment to announce the projects by July, with funding to flow immediately.

Further inquiries:

Senator Macdonald's office: David Crisafulli 0400 144 483 Philip Connole 0417 063 605 (travelling with Senator Macdonald)

http://www.mffc.gov.au/releases/2004/04148m.html