What is the Closing the Gap Major Capital Program?
The Closing the Gap Major Capital Program is a grant opportunity that aims to deliver both new and renovated health clinics, and associated housing for health professionals.
The Prime Minister announced in his Closing the Gap address on 5 August 2021 that the Australian Government is investing $254.4 million to address seriously deteriorating or non-existent health infrastructure. The investment will be provided over four years from 2021-22 to 2024-25. It will strengthen the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service (ACCHS) sector.
Two rounds of major capital works funding are expected to be offered under the Closing the Gap infrastructure measure across 2021-22 to 2022-23. This is the first round.
This Grant Opportunity will involve a two-stage process for allocating funding:
- Stage One – Expression of Interest (EOI), and
- Stage Two – Invitation to Apply (ITA).
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are expected to benefit from a $1.5m grant from the Australian government to improve health infrastructure, recruitment and retention of health professionals and clinical staff housing. The project is part of the National Agreement on Closing the Gap – Build the Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander community-controlled sector.
The objective of this Grant Opportunity is to address Priority Reform Two of the National Agreement on Closing the Gap and improve access for Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander peoples to safe and effective essential primary health care services through the provision of culturally appropriate, fit for purpose health infrastructure across Australia.
The Closing the Gap Major Capital Program will aim to achieve this objective through the following:
- addressing the impact that the lack of the proposed capital works is having on the delivery of primary health care
- providing culturally appropriate, fit for purpose health infrastructure that:
- supports the delivery of primary health care services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and/or
- increases the capacity of organisations to attract and retain a clinical workforce by providing staff accommodation for health professionals, and
- providing project management support to organisations funded for capital works projects and ensuring appropriate use of Commonwealth funds.
Two rounds of major capital works funding totalling $210 million will be offered through the Closing the Gap infrastructure measure. Through this grant opportunity, the Australian Government is providing funding of up to $140 million (GST exclusive) over 4 years from 2021-22 to 2024-25 for major capital works.
The following activities and items are eligible to receive funding under this Grant Opportunity:
- Clinics – purchasing, building (including prefabricated structures), extending or refurbishing of clinics, purchase of freehold vacant land (when required as part of a building activity), repairs and maintenance costs, furniture and fittings, and professional fees associated with undertaking the above works
- Staff accommodation – purchasing, building (including prefabricated structures), extending, or refurbishing of clinical staff accommodation in small rural towns and remote and very remote communities (MMM5-7), purchase of freehold vacant land (when required as part of a building activity), repairs and maintenance costs, furniture and fittings, and professional fees associated with undertaking the above works
- the payment of statutory charges and costs associated with the connection of essential services, such as power, water and sewerage
- professional services associated with the project management of Commonwealth funded capital works projects (for most projects, the Department will require a suitably
qualified construction project manager to be engaged by the Grantee to supervise all construction works for the duration of the project)
- works which complement capital projects currently funded by the Department where significant benefit from the additions can be demonstrated
- the purchase and installation of renewable energy equipment, especially where the electricity supply is unreliable or a significant cost for health service providers, and
- the purchase and installation of telecommunications hardware to improve the ability to support telehealth services.
Only ACCHSs2 delivering primary health care are eligible to apply under this Grant Opportunity.
Primary health care services in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities will be prioritised for government funding to expand or improve access to services. These organisations will have a proven track record of delivering essential and culturally-appropriate primary health care across Australia, including in areas of high need.
To be eligible, Organisations must:
- be an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service
- currently deliver primary health care, and
- be listed at Appendix A of the guidelines
Expected period of release: January to June 2022
$140 million to improve health services for indigenous communities
The Morrison Government will open a $140 million major capital works program for Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS) to build, buy or renovate health clinics and staff housing. In the past year, we have announced new commitments totalling more than $1.1 billion for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.
ACCHS are operated by and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, delivering comprehensive and culturally appropriate primary health care services. A key part of the Closing the Gap health infrastructure measure announced in August 2021, the funding will deliver up to 120 projects, including new clinics, housing, and major refurbishments. ACCHS grant opportunities are part of the Morrison Government’s first Closing the Gap Implementation Plan, backed by a commitment of more than $1 billion. The plan sets a foundation for efforts in achieving the targets in the National Agreement on Closure the Gap over the next decade.