Worker support

To support workers, the Victorian Forestry Plan transition package includes:

  • Training and re-training programs
  • Case management, specialist employment and career assistance
  • Additional support through the Back to Work program
  • Relocation support
  • Top-ups to worker redundancy payments
  • Tailored mental health and wellbeing support.

The support will be available to affected mill workers and harvest and haulage businesses.

The Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions has undertaken work to collect updated demographic information on workers in the Victorian native timber industry to help with the detailed design of the support package so that it is targeted most effectively. A summary report of the survey data will be made available later this year.

In recognition of their role as one of Gippsland’s largest employers, the Victorian Government and Opal are supporting the Maryvale mill's continued operation until at least 2050 as part of a broader industry transition from native forest timber harvesting. This supports Opal’s almost 1,000-strong workforce and provides stability to its customers.

Workers - Mill and Harvest and Haulage support

Support package


Date available

Top up of redundancy for workers

Workers will receive a redundancy payment of up to $120,000 which includes:

  • four weeks of pay for every year of service
  • up to 152 hours of unused sick leave
  • statutory entitlements

From 2023

Worker Transition Services and Coordination including Workers in Transition Scheme

  • Dedicated case management and other worker transition services so that support is easily accessible to those impacted
  • Support includes training or retraining and employment services that link the worker to future employment opportunities
  • Information packs and seminars on available support and employment preparation that will be provided to affected workers in easily accessible locations

From 2023

Specialist career transition assistance (workshops and one on one sessions)

  • Provision of career coaches and customised career transition plan

From 2023

Dealing with change (workshops and one-on-one sessions for family members of impacted workers)

  • Provision of support and tools to assist worker’s  families to adjust to the change

From 2023

Training / Retraining

  • Access to a suite of potential training programs or courses that will be identified for each worker including work-site skills assessment (for Recognised Prior Learning), pre-employment foundation courses, skill sets modules / micro-credentials, full VET qualification courses and pre-apprenticeship foundation training

From 2023

Mental Health and Wellbeing Support

  • Tailored mental health support including education and awareness workshops, individual case management and access to clinical support services.
From 2022

Mental Health and Wellbeing Support

  • If you require crisis support you can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 any time of the day or night or call 000 emergency services.
  • If you or your family need non-emergency support you can call the Forestry Information Support Line on 1800 318 182, Monday to Friday between 9 am and 5 pm. A case manager will help connect you with the most appropriate service in your local area. These services can provide treatment, information, tools and advice on how to deal with a range of mental health concerns.

Available now

Relocation support

  • Off-setting costs of relocation to take up an ongoing job
  • Covers costs including rent, rental bond, connecting utilities, and removalist and travel costs

From 2023

Expansion of Jobs Victoria services

  • Intensive employment support for disadvantaged jobseekers, including employment brokerage with potential employers and post-placement support

From 2023

Ex-forestry worker-employer payment

Support packageDetails Date available
Back to Work
  • payment to employers for employing workers from the native timber industry.
  • $7,000 per person for the employer $4,000 where an employer provides accredited training to the ex-forestry employee
From 2023

Page last updated: 14 September 2022