training for forest worker

Support Payments

The Worker Support Program offers various types of Support Payments. These payments provide a safety net for employees who have been made genuinely redundant and lost their jobs as a result of the transition from native timber harvesting in state forests.

Available payments include:

Government top-up payment

The Government top-up payment may be provided to eligible employees who have been made genuinely redundant as defined by the Fair Work Act and lost their job.

Hardship payment

The one-off hardship payment is a singular payment of $3000 specifically for native timber employees working in Community Forestry. The payment is available to employees who have experienced significant hardship due to the transition away from native timber harvesting and have not been receiving or received any other government payments.

 Eligibility 

To qualify for this payment, you must fall into one of the following categories

  • Community forestry license holder or employee
  • Seed collector

Relocation reimbursement

The Worker Support Program will reimburse eligible employees and families for relocation costs of up to $45,000. The relocation reimbursement can be tailored to accommodate your specific moving expenses.  

Eligibility 

To be eligible for a relocation reimbursement, an applicant must first be eligible for a Support payment and show that they have secured employment at a worksite located 50 kilometres or more away from their current residence. 

What can be reimbursed?  

The following costs are eligible for reimbursement:

  • Relocation-associated legal costs
  • Temporary accommodation (staying in a hotel, motel, caravan, or Airbnb)
  • Associated medical costs
  • School uniforms
  • School enrolment fees
  • First groceries purchased from grocer’s shop or supermarket to fill your fridge/pantry at your new residence 
  • Reasonable breaking lease costs of your current place of residence 
  • Vehicle registration transfer fees (if moving interstate)
  • Utility connection and exit costs
  • Licence transfer fees
  • Rental bond on your new place of residence 
  • Rent at new location (up to two months)
  • Reimbursement of stamp duty* (subject to certain conditions)

Please note that reimbursement of stamp duty requires the employee to demonstrate the following: 

  • Sold a residence at their old location
  • Occupied a residence at the new location within 15 months of the effective date of the promotion, transfer, or redeployment
  • Provided satisfactory evidence of expenditure

*Reimbursement of stamp duty is not available if the employee occupies a Government residence at the new location. 

Submission of two quotes along with an invoice is necessary for the following items. The reimbursement will cover the costs of the most economical option chosen after considering the provided quotes:

  • Removalists and removalist insurance
  • Truck hire
  • Storage
  • Trailer hire
  • Non-rent accommodation at new location (up to two weeks)
  • Gardening fees
  • Cleaning fees
  • Pet boarding fees (up to one month)

How are Government Top-up payments calculated?

The Government Top-up payment is calculated based on years of service in the native timber industry and is comprised of:

  • Four weeks of pay for each year of service in the native timber industry), and
  • Unused sick leave (up to 152 hours)
  • Reduced by the genuine redundancy amount received from final employer.

The Government Top-Up payment has a maximum cap of $150,000 including any genuine redundancy paid by the employer.

Weekly pay rates will be based on:

  • For direct employees of native timber businesses, their most recent ordinary rate of pay (pro-rata for part-time and casual workers)
  • Contractors and business owners may calculate an average annual salary for the best two financial years from 2018-2019 to 2021-2022. From this they can determine a weekly pay rate. The salary will be capped at $120,000 per annum.

Workers over the age of 45 years will receive a further 3 weeks of pay for every year of service in the industry after the age of 45. This payment is calculated separately from the Government top-up payment and has a cap of $50,000.

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