Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement - Contractors Voluntary Exit Grants Program

​​​​This program was funded for the 2011–12 financial year and has now closed.

Application forms must have been received by the Program Secretariat by 5pm (Australian Eastern Daylight Time) Thursday 24 November 2011.

The Advisory Panel for the Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement Contractors Voluntary Exit Grants Program (IGACEP) met on 19–20 December 2011 to consider 98 applications for the program. A diverse range of applications was received for the program requiring the panel to ensure all applications are dealt with fairly.

To complete its assessment of applications the panel has requested further information and verification of information before it can finalise its recommendations on the offer of grants under the program. Almost 75 per cent of applications were requested to provide further information or verification of information submitted and this affected the panel being able to finalise its consideration of applications. The advisory panel sought independent financial assessment of applications.

The IGACEP panel convened on 1 and 2 February 2012 to consider the results of financial analysis and develop recommendations on grant offers. The Advisory Panel reconvened on Tuesday 7 February 2012 to finalise recommendations for successful grant applications. A report to the delegate outlining the panel's recommendations has been finalised. The delegate made a decision that 61 applicants will be offered voluntary exit grants with a combined total of $44,019,622.76. All eligible applicants were made grant offers.

Officers the department called applicants to notify them of the outcome. All applicants, including those applicants who did not meet eligibility requirements were notified in writing.

Under the IGACEP, $45 million was allocated for grants and delivery costs to provide for voluntary exits from public Tasmanian forest operations for haulage, harvest and silvicultural contractors. This funding will be provided in the 2011–2012 financial year.

The program was separate to the Tasmanian Forest Contractors Exit Assistance Program run by the Australian Government in the 2010–2011 financial year, under which 29 businesses accepted exit assistance.

The IGACEP was a competitive grants program and suitability was determined by ranking applicants according to merit criteria outlined in the Program guidelines.

The program guidelines and application form were amended on Friday 28 October 2011 to clarify matters relating to criterion 3 for harvest and haulage contractors.

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Program guidelines

These guidelines provide details on the program.

Application forms

Applications were due to the Program Secretariat by 5pm (Australian Eastern Daylight Time) Thursday 24 November 2011 and have now closed.

Funding Deed

Applicants awarded funding were required to sign a Funding Deed containing the terms and conditions of funding. Each grantee was required to nominate all individuals who are directors, owners or partners of the business. The nominated individual(s) were required to sign the funding deed and the deed of undertaking.

Deed of Undertaking

The nominated individual(s) were required to sign a Deed of Undertaking under which they pledged to not re-enter the forest industry nationally for 10 years from the date of receiving the first milestone funding payment under the Funding Deed.

Exit Assistance Payment Structure

Voluntary exit assistance grants were made in two payments before 30 June 2012. The first payment was 75 per cent of the total approved amount made on the execution of the Funding Deed and the execution of a Deed of Undertaking. The second payment of 25 per cent was paid before 30 June 2012 on provision of an exit strategy for ongoing contracts or ongoing arrangements, proof of payment of all employees' entitlements and demonstration that the business's forestry machinery would not be used by the grant recipient in the forest industry nationally for 10 years except to the extent of existing contractual arrangements in the mainland sector, the Tasmanian private native forest sector or the Tasmanian plantation sector and demonstration that the business's forestry machinery was not being and would not be hired out or leased out in the forest industry nationally for 10 years.

Milestone 2 Deed Poll and Annexures

Applicants must have met all program requirements before 31 May 2012 to receive the payments.

Note, where the successful applicants had an active obligation under the Tasmanian Community Forest Agreement Industry Development Program (TCFA IDP) they received a modified letter outlining their requirements under that program and how it relates to IGACEP requirements.

Review Process

A request for a review should be submitted in writing within three months from the date the department advises the applicant of the decision. All reviews will be undertaken as promptly as possible and will not exceed a 30 working day timeframe, from assignment of review officer.

Assessment Plan

The Grant Application Assessment Plan sets out the process and methodology as to how applications for funding through the program will be assessed.

Compliance with grant conditions

Funding under the program was conditional on the grant recipient adhering to the terms of the Funding Deed and the nominated individuals adhering to the terms of the Deed Poll of Undertaking for a period of 10 years.

If conditions are breached the Commonwealth can seek, under the terms of the Funding Deed, the recovery of the grant money from the grant recipient and nominated individuals at any point during the period of obligation or pertaining to the period of obligation (10 years).

The Commonwealth can also seek an injunction against activities that breach conditions of the grant.

Frequently asked questions

Successful grantees

Successful grantees were published on the department's website within the time period specified by the Government Grant Guidelines.

Contract termination

In response to representations from interested parties, the department is offering a termination option for grantees wishing to re-enter the industry.

Grant recipients who wish to terminate their funding deeds will be required to repay the funding (indexed to the year of deed termination).  A reduction of 10 per cent will be applied for each year that the grantee has complied with their obligations under the funding deed.

Letters have been posted to all grantees. These letters provide information about this termination option and request grantees contact the department if they are interested in the offer.

Media releases

  • Delivery of exit grants commences — 17 February 2012
  • Exit grants for forest contractors now open — 27 October 2011
  • Exit grants for Tasmanian forest contractors — 21 October 2011

Freedom of Information

The department received a request under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) (Ref: FOI 2012/13-11) seeking documents about Aprin Pty Ltd’s application and assessment for an exit grant under the Tasmanian Intergovernmental Agreement Contractors Voluntary Exit Grants Program (IGACEP). Documents released under the FOI Act are available in the department's FOI disclosure log.

Contact us

The IGACEP is administered by the Australian Government Department of Agriculture.

Program Secretariat
Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement Contractors Voluntary Exit Grants Program
Australian Government Department of Agriculture
GPO Box 858
Canberra ACT 2601

Employees of contractors

Employees are not eligible for assistance under this program. Affected employees seeking more information about the services and payments that may be available to them can call the Tasmanian Forest Support Information Line on 1800 648 075.

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