The Victorian Government is supporting a further nine towns across Victoria to transition away from native timber harvesting, with targeted funding to develop new economic strategies and job opportunities.
Minister for Agriculture Mary-Anne Thomas was in Murrindindi Shire today to announce the latest recipients of the Labor Government’s Local Development Strategy grants program.
Through the program Alexandra, Taggerty, Marysville and Buxton will share in $400,000 administered by Murrindindi Shire Council.
Powelltown, Warburton, Yarra Junction, Benalla and Corryong will share in a further $1.3 million.
The Local Development Strategy grants program supports towns to diversify where native timber harvesting is a significant source of jobs and employment.
The program is designed to be community-led and reflect local priorities and ambitions. Through the grants, communities will be able to undertake long-term diversification planning to support their local economy and adapt to new industries – increasing job opportunities for workers.
An independent project officer will engage with locals, community groups, businesses and government over a two-year period to identify each town’s strengths, assets, challenges and opportunities for innovation and economic development. The officers will be appointed through each town’s local council or community group.
The nine towns will join Noojee, Orbost, Yarram and Heyfield which have already commenced work on their Local Development Strategies.
The communities will also have access to the recently announced $22 million Community Transition and Development Fund, which will also support communities in transition to implement new strategies.
The Local Development Strategy grants are a key part of the more than $200 million Victorian Forestry Plan, ensuring communities are well supported through the transition. For more information visit https://djpr.vic.gov.au/forestry/forestry-plan
Minister for Agriculture Mary-Anne Thomas said, “These grants provide real opportunities for a diverse range of communities to transition away from a native timber industry and to identify new opportunities for their long-term future. We are supporting businesses and local communities to take control of their future, seek new opportunities and create more jobs.”
Murrindindi Shire Council Deputy Mayor Cr Damien Gallagher added, “These funds will help us forge the way ahead for those making the transition away from native timber harvesting and to reduce the broader impacts of the transition on our communities.”