Up to $150,000 is available from Communities Environment Program to fund small, community-led environment projects that address local environmental priorities.

 

Communities Environment Program

The Communities Environment Program provides each of the 151 electorates across Australia with funding for small, community-led environment projects that address local environmental priorities. In consultation with their community, each Federal Member of Parliament must identify potential applicants and projects in their electorate and invite them to apply for a grant.

 

Background

The Communities Environment Program (the program) will run over one year in 2019-20. The Australian Government announced the program in March 2019 prior to the 2019 budget and will provide $22.65 million in funding to support small scale, community-led environment projects that address local environmental priorities in each of the 151 federal electorates across Australia.

The program forms part of the Australian Government’s 2019 environment policy election commitment, Our Plan for a Cleaner Environment. It aims to support the environmental priorities of local community and environment groups in their regions and neighbourhoods, to recover and strengthen the environment and to build and strengthen local communities.

 

Objectives

The objectives of the program are to:

  • deliver positive environmental and social outcomes
  • give communities the resources, skills and knowledge to care for the environment.

The intended outcomes of the program are:

  • improved management of native species, including threatened species, and their habitat
  • improved management of the environment, including coastal, wetland and riparian areas
  • reduced levels of threats and risks to the environment, including from the impact of litter/waste, run-off to waterways, feral animals, diseases and weeds
  • increased community knowledge of, and participation in, activities that protect and restore environmental assets
  • increased community connection with the natural environment in their local area.

 

Funding

The Australian Government has announced a total of $22.65 million in 2019-20 for the program, to provide up to $150,000 in each of the 151 federal electorates.

Each electorate has up to $150,000 in funding that can be allocated to successful applications. A maximum of 20 projects will be funded in each electorate.

  • The minimum grant amount is $2,500
  • The maximum grant amount is $20,000
  • The grant amount will be up to 100 per cent of eligible project costs.

 

Eligible Projects

To be eligible your project must:

  • be nominated by your MP
  • be aimed at the program objectives
  • direct the majority of grant funding to an on-ground eligible activity
  • have at least $2,500 in eligible expenditure
  • include eligible activities and eligible expenditure
  • be undertaken in an eligible location
  • be completed by 31 December 2020.

Eligible activities must be undertaken for a public purpose and represent value for money. The primary objective must not be directed at making a profit, nor should the applicant (or lead applicant/sponsor) receive sole benefit from the project.

Eligible activities must directly relate to the project and can include:

  • citizen science activities that encourage people to collect and contribute information about their local environment, such as monitoring local flora, fauna, water quality and marine debris
  • activities that protect or enhance the natural environment and/or support recovery of native species/communities, such as:
    • actions identified in recovery plans or conservation advices for threatened species
    • collection and propagation of seed from native species
    • revegetation using locally appropriate native species (e.g. to increase suitable habitat and available food sources for native animals, to increase biodiversity or provide bio-linkages to reduce the impact of climate change)
    • removal of barriers to species traversing landscapes and waterways (e.g. fish ladders)
    • habitat support for species (e.g. provision of nesting boxes or artificial burrows)
  • activities that reduce threats and risks to the natural environment, such as:
    • managing invasive weeds, pest animals or diseases (e.g. construction of wash-down stations)
    • fencing to support environmental protection and/or restoration (e.g. control access to sensitive sites, remnant vegetation or revegetation sites)
    • management of access to sensitive areas, including installation of infrastructure, such as boardwalks and sand ladders
    • managing erosion (e.g. to reduce impacts on environmentally sensitive areas/waterways and/or to directly improve the ecological condition of a site)
    • reducing sediment, contaminant and nutrient run-off to waterways
  • activities that reduce the impact of waste and litter, such as litter clean-up events (including marine debris collection), and litter management infrastructure
  • activities that encourage re-use and recycling, such as new or enhanced recycling drop-off facilities, and community-based initiatives to repair, share, re-use or recycle products
  • activities that improve carbon sequestration (e.g. improved ground cover
  • educational activities that build community knowledge about their local environment and how the community can conserve, protect, monitor, and/or manage it sustainably

Eligible expenditure items are:

  • the costs of project related planning, administration, consultation, coordination, monitoring and reporting
  • the costs of suppliers, consultants, specialists/experts and contracted labour undertaking eligible project activities
  • the purchase of materials required to deliver eligible project activities (e.g. herbicides, seed, tubestock, planting hardware, plant propagation materials, fencing materials, rock, nesting boxes, litter collection bags, etc.)
  • the costs of obtaining required permissions, licences, permits, and/or planning, environmental, heritage or other regulatory approvals
  • the purchase, lease or hire of equipment required to deliver eligible project activities
  • the installation of equipment and infrastructure as part of eligible project activities (e.g. boardwalks, interpretive signage, litter traps, recycling drop-off /sorting infrastructure)
  • project related mapping, surveying and monitoring activitie
  • design and production of educational materials and project/event communications, including event advertising materials, workshop materials, fact sheets, web materials, interpretive or other project related signage
  • venue/facility hire required to deliver eligible project activities
  • provision of light refreshments/drinks (excluding alcohol) to maintain hydration and support safe community participation at community events
  • personal protective equipment required to deliver eligible project activities
  • project related insurance costs required to deliver eligible project activities.

 

Eligible Applicants

To be eligible you must:

  • be invited to apply by your MP
  • have an Australian Business Number (ABN)

and be one of the following incorporated entities:

  • an incorporated not for profit organisation including but not limited to:
    • community associations, including
      • Parents and Citizens, Parents and Friends groups and equivalent bodies*
    • non-distributing co-operatives
    • companies limited by guarantee
    • Indigenous not for profit corporations
  • an incorporated trustee on behalf of a trust with responsibility for a community property
  • an Australian State/Territory Government agency or body that is:
    • a registered school that is a legal entity (with its own unique ABN) and that can enter into a grant agreement in its own right
    • a legal entity applying on behalf of a registered school
    • a legal entity applying on behalf of a Western Australian Land Conservation District Committee
    • a Regional Land Partnerships service provider acting as a project sponsor to enable a community group to undertake their project (see section 5.2 of the guidelines)
  • a local governing body as defined by the Local Government (Financial Assistance) Act 1995

* This includes Queensland Parents and Citizens’ Associations which are prevented from incorporation by their governing legislation but are still considered legal entities.

 

Timing

Applications close 10 October 2019.

 

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