Pre-registration for the native forestry worker support package designed to help workers transition into a new industry has opened. The worker support packages, which form part of the State Government’s Just Transition Plan, entitle native timber employees to payouts of up to $45,000 if they have served in the industry for more than 15 years. The payment scheme is divided into two methods; workers who willing to leave the native forestry industry before 2024 can receive a one-off $10,000 payment, while those who are made redundant could receive $30,000 plus another $1000 for every year of service up to 15 years. Additional one-off payments of $2500 will be made available for workers who retrain for other industries through TAFE and another $500 payment is available for those seeking resume building skills. The pre-registration deadline for the worker support package is May 6. Warren-Blackwood MLA Jane Kelsbie said she had met mill workers and business owners during the transition period and urged timber employees to enrol for the support packages. “I have been listening to affected mills and offering my support and will continue to do so,” she said. “I encourage workers to pre-register their interest in the financial support packages before the May 6 deadline. “It is imperative that the native timber workforce is supported as we transition away from native logging.” Ms Kelsbie said she was “in discussions” with both WA Premier Mark McGowan and Forestry Minister Dave Kelly to try and secure more funding for the industry support package, which is being created to help secure economic development in the regions affected by the native logging closure. “I am currently in discussions with the Premier and Minister Kelly, seeking further funding for economic development opportunities to help the region transition from native forestry,’’ she said. “I have received a lot of feedback on the packages to date, and I encourage anyone with questions or feedback on the worker packages to get in touch with me.” In September last year, the Premier announced the native timber industry would close at the end of the 2023, to coincide with the new Forest Management Plan 2024-2033. The closure was expected to save up to 400,000ha of karri, jarrah and wandoo forest, while costing around 500 jobs, most in the South West region.