RETRENCHED timber industry workers have been given new hope for employment thanks to a federal funding agreement.
Federal Employment, Skills and Training Minister Brendan O'Connor yesterday announced a $2.4 million funding boost for the paper mill at Wesley Vale.
The funding is in addition to the $1.03 million announced as part of the forestry agreement package announced by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd a fortnight ago.
The plant has been at reduced capacity for some time as a result of the downturn in the forestry industry in the state and had to shed about 15 jobs.
With the new support funding, operations manager David Loone said that the plant would be able to bolster employment back up to 22 places and would hopefully be able to re-employ those who were retrenched.
Mr O'Connor said the funding was contingent on the Legislative Council passing the forestry funding agreement it was not contingent on Labor winning the federal election.