What are these vouchers?
Transition planning vouchers of up to $25,000 are available to forestry businesses that are directly affected by the Victorian Forestry Plan to access transition support to start planning for the future.
The vouchers provide access to approved professional business services companies to prepare a business diagnostic or develop a Business Transition Plan.
The first significant step down in native timber availability occurs in mid-2024. The period between now and then should be used by mills and timber harvest and haulage businesses to make decisions about their future.
What sort of things will be funded?
This program will fund access to business advisory services to assist participants to plan for their future by better understanding their capabilities, options and strategies for transition.
The vouchers are to be used to prepare a business diagnostic or develop a new or update an existing Business Transition Plan.
What factors will the business service providers look at?
The business service providers will support participating forestry businesses by providing a diagnostic assessment to help identify future opportunities and next steps. The Business Transition Plan will identify diversification opportunities and will include strategies and capabilities the business needs to pursue in order to transition to within the forest industry or in another sector.
When will the vouchers be available?
The vouchers under the Forestry Business Transition Vouchers program will be available from June 2020.
Who can apply?
Eligible businesses must either:
- Hold a current Timber Supply Agreement issued by VicForests
- Are a Timber harvest and haulage business with a current VicForests agreement.
- Hold a Forest Produce Licence issued by VicForests
The Guidelines can be downloaded:
Victorian Forestry Business Transition Support Voucher Program - Guidelines (PDF 508.24 KB)
Victorian Forestry Business Transition Support Voucher Program - Guidelines (accessible version) (DOCX 44.54 KB)
What happens once a business has their Business Transition Plan?
To some degree, this will depend on what the plan recommends. By their nature, these plans will be different.
The Victorian Timber Innovation Fund will provide funding to businesses looking to transition to a plantation-based wood supply or working in the plantation industry. Additional financial assistance may be available to participants through ongoing government programs that support regional employment and evolving business needs.
Who are the companies providing the service?
A panel of Registered Service Providers has been established. Participants can also nominate their own service provider. They can be added to the panel as long as they meet strict eligibility criteria based on the quality of service and skills they offer.
How will participants choose their service provider?
The department has vetted a number of service providers that participants may choose from. Participants are encouraged to think carefully and ask the business service providers how they will partner with them to produce a Business Diagnostic and or a Business Transition Plan.