Up to $80,000 is available from Community Advisor Grants to help locals access legal expertise to understand and contribute to the Environment Effects Statement (ESS) process.
Community Advisor Grants
The Community Advisor Grant Program will enable locals to access legal expertise to understand and contribute to the Environment Effects Statement (ESS) process.
The first round of grant funding is for the Fingerboards Mine Proposal. The second round of grant funding will be for the Bunyip North Quarry Proposal.
The EES process helps statutory decision-makers (Ministers, local government and statutory authorities) to make informed decisions about whether a project with potentially significant environmental effects should proceed. The process can recommend conditions and controls on a project proponent’s work proposal to ensure that the risk of harm is minimised.
The Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (the department) is responsible for the Community Education and Community Advisor Grant Programs, which are being piloted in response to community concerns about their ability to engage in the EES process.
The Community Advisor Grants aim:
- To test a method of supporting community stakeholders to participate more effectively in the EES process.
- To build capacity of local communities to engage in the EES process.
- To broaden the range of community members engaging in the EES process, by supporting those who would otherwise be unlikely or unable to participate.
Two grants of up to $40,000 (GST exclusive) each ($80,000 total GST exclusive) will be available for participation in the EES process for the Fingerboards Mine Proposal.
Two grants of up to $40,000 (GST exclusive) each ($80,000 total GST exclusive) will be available for participation in the EES process for the Bunyip North Quarry Proposal.
Eligible project expenditure includes the following activities:
- Legal advice or assistance in drafting submissions or written comments on the final EES for the Proposals.
- Legal representation in the event a public inquiry is initiated and there is an opportunity for verbal submissions from the public regarding the EES.
Community Advisor Grants must only be spent on eligible project expenditure.
To be eligible for the Community Advisor Grants, Applicants must meet all the following criteria:
- Applicants must be not-for-profit community organisations that are in the regions impacted by the Fingerboards Mine Proposal or the Bunyip North Quarry Proposal.
- Applicants must be:
- an incorporated association registered through Consumer Affairs Victoria or be affiliated with an umbrella group that is an incorporated association, OR
- a registered not-for-profit organisation with the Australian Charities and Not for Profit Commission (ACNC).
- Applicants must have an active ABN. Applicants must be registered for GST if required under Australian taxation law.
- A majority of an Applicant’s members must be based geographically near the site/region of the Fingerboards Mine Proposal or the Bunyip North Quarry Proposal.
Joint applications are acceptable, where there is a lead applicant who is both the primary proponent and an eligible applicant. The lead applicant should submit the application.
The department will undertake due diligence checks for all Applicants. This includes for all Applicants in a joint application.
A maximum of two grants will be awarded per Proposal (the Fingerboards Mine Proposal, the Bunyip North Quarry Proposal).
Applications close 22 July 2019.