Minister Guy Barnett – Welcome to the Bulletin
I applaud the Tasmanian Forests and Forest Products Network’s move to a weekly newsletter to ensure that the Tasmanian Forestry industry is well informed during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
The Tasmanian majority Liberal Government supports the Forestry Industry as a foundation of the Tasmanian economy and employer of more than 5,700 people, many in regional areas.
Our industry, along with the whole of Tasmania, is facing an unprecedented challenge due to COVID-19.
The Government’s primary focus is the health and wellbeing of all Tasmanians. To achieve this, a number of restrictions have been implemented that have and will affect our economy, businesses, jobs and communities.
The current advice is for Tasmanians to continue going to work, but to operate in a way that limits contact with other people.
While restrictions could have a significant and wide ranging effect on the Forestry Industry, the Government remains committed to supporting businesses and individuals.
Rest assured I am working on your behalf to represent the sector, including continuing to work closely with the Federal Government and advocating for our crucial Forestry Industry.
Recognising the impact to all industries, the Tasmanian Government announced our second round stimulus package, which sits alongside the Federal Government package, aimed at supporting all Tasmanian businesses, workers and communities including our forest industries. Some of the focus of this stimulus is to provide assistance for businesses to cover costs, including electricity and water bills, payroll tax and government fees and charges.
The Government remains committed to growing a strong and sustainable forest sector in Tasmania, which will give industry the certainty and confidence it needs to make long-term investment decisions. We continue to work closely with Sustainable Timber Tasmania, industry representatives and the broader community to manage the current situation and I expect the sector to emerge stronger on the other side.
For specific information on business support grants and loans, please refer to the Business Tasmania website www.business.tas.gov.au or call them direct on 1800 440 026. Information on the Federally, you can access information at www.business.gov.au
Aurora and TasWater have also implemented assistance schemes and information is available on their websites.
I encourage everyone to be vigilant with their own personal hygiene and to keep in touch with vulnerable members, such as the elderly, in our community. For more information, please contact my office.