The Community Environment Grants Program
The Community Environment Grants Program being delivered as part of the Wild Otways Initiative is a $1 million investment to support the delivery of projects to protect and restore native plants, wildlife, and coastal environments in the area between Bells Beach to Peterborough, and the Otways hinterland.
The types of projects that will be supported through the program include:
- Indigenous revegetation and supporting activities (plant propagation and fencing where directly related to and proportional to the benefits of revegetation activities);
- Weed and pest animal control (except those activities outlined in ‘What will not be funded’ section below)
- Fencing and access track construction or improvement works that protect or manage environmental values; and
- Other habitat improvement works.
A total of $1 million is available over the life of the program, with individual grants of between $5,000 to $50,000 per year (ex GST) for up to 2 years duration being available to eligible groups. Please refer to the funding guidelines below for eligibility details.
Applications for the grant program are now open and will close at 5pm on Friday 22 January 2021.
Community Environment Grants Program Application Workshop
Wednesday 13 January 2021 1:00pm – 2:00pm.
This online workshop will provide:
- Guidance on the application process
- Time for questions
- Helpful resources
Register your attendance here: https://bit.ly/3oD4I6O
‘Community Environment Grants Program’ Information Session One
Below is a recording of the online information session that was held on Monday the 23rd of November.
To register your interest in attending the December 9th session, please register here: https://bit.ly/3nt6BSU.
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Frequently Asked Questions
How do you apply?
Applications are to be submitted through the application form provided below, with all supporting documentation attached.
The application form needs to be completed and submitted in one sitting, as the form cannot be saved. To assist you to draft your application, please use this editable pdf to draft your application off-line. Then you can simply cut and paste the information from the pdf into the online form.
A budget and in-kind contribution template can be found below.
Please ensure all supporting documentation is attached to your online application.
Applications must be submitted by 5pm on Friday 22 January 2021.
Who can apply?
Grants are open to all community-based groups, Local Government Authorities and Traditional Owners located within the Program Area who can demonstrate how they will deliver on-ground environmental improvement works that protect and restore native plants, wildlife and coastal environments.
- Be an incorporated association registered through Consumer Affairs Victoria, or be incorporated through an incorporated association, e.g. Landcare Victoria Incorporated.
- Hold sufficient insurance to safeguard volunteers and participants involved in the funded activities, including public liability insurance of at least $10 million. Committees of Management, both incorporated or unincorporated, under Crown Land (Reserves) Act 1978 are covered by DELWP and do not require additional public liability insurance.
- Have a Covid-safe plan that adheres to the guidance of the Chief Health Officer (www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/).
Groups that do not meet the above requirements can still apply for funding but must operate under the auspices of an organisation that meets these requirements.
What projects will be funded?
The Grants Program will fund projects from $5,000 to $50,000 (excluding GST) per year for up to two years duration. All proposals should contain sufficient detail to allow them to be assessed and the detail is to be commensurate with the level of funding requested.
- Be delivered within the geographic area which stretches from Bells Beach to Peterborough and includes the Otways hinterland. Please see further details under the Project Location section.
- Deliver activities that will protect and restore native plants and vegetation communities, native wildlife and coastal environments including on-ground works. For further details, please see the detailed funding guidelines below.
- More than one project grant application can be submitted by an applicant (e.g. group/network).
- Your budget and value for money will be considered in the assessment process. You will need to demonstrate that all activities and budget items are necessary for the success of the project and that the amounts requested are reasonable.
- Project proposals that can demonstrate greater project outcomes through in-kind contributions or investment have a higher likelihood of attracting funding.
Projects must also meet the following conditions:
- Project management costs are not to exceed 10% of the total Community Environment Grants Program funding requested.
- Subject to the limitations as outlined in the funding guidelines, you will need to demonstrate a clear need and community benefit for any capital items included in your budget. Capital items will need to become a registered asset of the applicant group or auspicor.
- Ensuring that health and safety, cultural heritage and biodiversity impacts have been taken into account, particularly for eligible activities that have the potential for harm such as warren/den ripping.
- Your project can be completed and reported on no later than 30 April 2023.
What projects will not be funded?
The following activities will NOT be funded:
- Amenity and beautification projects without demonstrable benefits for native plants, wildlife or coastal environments.
- Pest animal control methods including shooting, poisoning, trapping, explosive or fumigation will not be supported. This includes engaging a contractor to undertake these activities.
- Boundary fencing for the primary purpose of stock management.
- Barbed wire fencing.
- Revegetation with non-indigenous plant species (note: all plants should be locally sourced and chosen based on the diversity and structure of the vegetation type (Ecological Vegetation Class) predicted for the site, local environmental conditions, ease of propagation, and the size of the area to be planted).
- Vegetation corridor less than 10 mtrs wide. Minimum project width of 10 mtrs is required (minimum 10 mtrs from the top of the bank in riparian areas).
- Purchase of capital items with a total cost over $3,000 for projects requesting up to $30,000 per year in funding.
- Purchase of capital items with a total cost over $5000 for projects requesting between $30,000-$50,000 per year in funding.
- Project management or administration costs that collectively total more than 10% of total funding requested.
- Purchase of computers, laptops and smartphones.
- Purchase of goods for competitions, prizes, giveaways, vouchers or alcohol.
- Any other action or activity determined by the Grant Assessment Panel through the assessment process to be inconsistent with the Grants Program Objectives.
What is the project location?
Projects must be undertaken in the area from Bells Beach to Peterborough, and the Otways hinterland in South West Victoria. See image below:
Projects can be on private or public land in the project area. Written consent from Public Land Managers must be provided in your application.
Applicants will need to provide a map of the location(s) of the on-ground component of their project and attach the map to their application as a pdf.
Can projects be undertaken on public or private land?
Projects can be undertaken on either public or private land within the Community Environment Grants Program Area. You will need to provide evidence of consent from the land manager. For Public Land, written evidence of support must be provided with your application. For public land, you will need to list the name and address of all landholders and, if you application is successful, you will be required to provide evidence of the private landowner’s consent for on-ground works to take place.
How are applications assessed?
Applications will be assessed by the Corangamite CMA Grant Assessment Panel. This panel will consider the contribution a project makes in terms of:
- Environmental outcomes, including the protection and restoration of native plants, wildlife and coastal environments
- Community participation and community benefit
- Project design and applicants capacity to deliver
- Budget and value for money (including in-kind contributions).
More details are provided in the Funding Guidelines in Appendix Two.
How many funding rounds will there be?
If the total $1 million in funding is allocated in the first round, there will be no future funding rounds. If funds remain after this first round, additional funding rounds will be undertaken until all funds are committed or the balance remaining does not warrant the expense of a further round.
To ensure consideration of your project, groups are strongly encouraged to apply in this first round.
Are any other threatened, or vulnerable species covered by the grants?
Projects that protect threatened flora and fauna species and ecological communities that occur in the project area and the habitats that support them are eligible for
Are photos of the site required?
We don’t require site photos. However, if you believe it will help your application please do so. We do however require a map/s of the site location where on ground activities will occur to give us a better idea of the site extent and activities to be undertaken.
Is fencing considered as ‘capital expenditure’?
No. Capital expenditure is defined within these grants as those items which become the assets of the group ongoing – tools, spray equipment, cameras, computers etc. It doesn’t extend to fencing materials. Fencing would be considered project expenditure to protect natural assets.
When will I be advised if my projects funding has been approved?
The process should take around a month. We to notify applicants of the outcome by the end of February so that projects can start as soon as possible.
Can weed projects be undertaken on public roads?
Yes, however you’ll require a letter of consent from the Public Land Manager to be submitted with your application.
For more information, contact:
Anthony Byrne – Project Officer Ph: 0407 885 143 Email: email@example.com
This project is supported by The Corangamite Catchment Authority, through funding from the
Australian Government’s Environment Restoration Fund