Up to $50,000 is available from FMCIP to help Aboriginals organisations with the activities to support their application for removal of the first mortgage.
First Mortgage and Community Infrastructure Program (FMCIP)
The First Mortgage and Community Infrastructure Program (FMCIP) aims to strengthen the economic capacity and sustainability of Aboriginal organisations to move towards self-determination.
Under this staged program, eligible Victorian Aboriginal organisations who own property over which the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs holds a first mortgage may apply to have the mortgage removed.
Many Aboriginal community organisations have access to land and assets, which have the potential to be leveraged to develop business ventures, generate revenue and build wealth. In Victoria, as a legacy of past practices, there are 59 properties owned by Aboriginal organisations over which the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs holds a first mortgage.
The Victorian Aboriginal Economic Strategy commits the Victorian Government to remove first mortgages over properties owned by eligible Aboriginal organisations, subject to completion of due diligence. Removal of the first mortgages will strengthen opportunities for Aboriginal organisations to realise the full value of their properties, including through commercial arrangements. This is consistent with the Government’s commitment to self-determination.
The FMCIP will enable more Aboriginal organisations to meet social determinants such as education, health and housing. It will also improve the ability of Aboriginal organisations to respond to the ongoing and changing demands in social, economic, legislative and cultural environments.
Successful projects will enable more Aboriginal organisations to:
- have mortgages released giving greater control of destiny and future direction;
- have greater control and choices regarding current and future use and development of facilities;
- achieve appropriate level of compliance with the relevant regulatory body;
- demonstrate strong governance;
- develop and implement Strategic and Business Plans;
- plan for natural attrition and succession;
- respond to internal governance crises and ensure greater stability and credibility; and
- work towards closing the gap on health and education outcomes.
The FMCIP provides opportunities for Aboriginal organisations to receive support where the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs holds a first mortgage over a property owned by the organisation. Two funding categories are available, and there is a subsequent process to remove a first mortgage.
A maximum of $50,000 (plus GST) is available per organisation in each of the following two funding categories:
- Urgent Repairs and Maintenance and
- First Mortgage Initiative.
Eligible organisations may submit a maximum of one application in one or both funding categories for one property only. The table below shows the funding that is available for both categories.
There is no provision of funding attached to the removal of the first mortgage. The first mortgage will be removed for eligible Aboriginal organisations who can demonstrate that the removal of the first mortgage will deliver the program outcomes described in these guidelines.
|Category||Activity Type||Funding available*||Description|
|Urgent Repairs and Maintenance||Funding application||Up to $50,000*||Completion of necessary repairs and maintenance for a property over which the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Victoria holds a first mortgage.|
|First Mortgage Initiative||Funding application||Up to $50,000*||Development of a feasibility study/ sustainable business model for a property over which the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Victoria holds a first mortgage.|
|Removal of First Mortgage||Legal process||$0
|Removal of first mortgage where the First Mortgage Readiness Checklist is fully complied with and the program outcomes are fully demonstrated.|
Victorian Aboriginal organisations, who own a property over which the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs holds a first mortgage, are eligible to apply for removal of the first mortgage.
To be eligible for funding Aboriginal organisations must be able to demonstrate that removal of the first mortgage will contribute to building enterprises, wealth and jobs for the Aboriginal community.
Applicants must meet the following conditions:
- be an incorporated body, cooperative or association (including business associations);
- possess an Australian Business Number (ABN) or can provide written advice from the Australian Tax Office that no withholding tax is required from the grant payment;
- be registered for the Goods and Services Tax (GST); and
- be financially solvent – organisations in liquidation are not eligible to apply for funding in this program.
To be eligible for removal of the First Mortgage, applicants must also provide evidence of compliance with all items on the First Mortgage Readiness Checklist, which requires:
- written response that demonstrates how the removal of the first mortgage will build enterprises, wealth and jobs for the Aboriginal community;
- evidence of the acquittal of any grants approved under this program (i.e. Urgent Repairs and Maintenance and/or First Mortgage Initiative);
- site specific photos of the property;
- audited financial reports from the past five years;
- annual general meeting reports from the past five years;
- details of annual elections and the decisions and outcomes including minutes and reports;
- evidence of minutes for all meetings for past five years;
- details of current membership list;
- copy of the Model Rules;
- copy of an active Conflict of Interest Register;
- evidence of compliance with regulatory body (e.g. Consumer Affairs Victoria);
- copy of the organisation’s strategic plan;
- copy of the organisation’s operational plan; and
- details of organisation’s structure including a list of current employees and members of the Board.
Applications close 30 June 2018.
As part of its policy of self-determination the Andrews Labor Government is piloting a program that will ensure Aboriginal Controlled Community Organisations (ACCOs) have full control of their assets and have the autonomy to grow and plan for the future.
This pilot is the first step in a program to remove first mortgages held by the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs for 30 Aboriginal organisations.
Aboriginal Housing Victoria and the Bendigo and District Aboriginal Co-operative are the first organisations to trial the program and will receive $50,000 grants to develop a business case for the removal of the first mortgage over their properties.
The program will see the removal of first mortgages following specific requirements being met, including financial stability and a sound governance history.
In Victoria there are currently 59 properties owned by Aboriginal organisations over which the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, hold a first mortgage. The first mortgages were generally applied as part of the funding agreement that allowed the organisations to purchase the properties.
Whilst the organisations are the legal owners of the property the existence of the first mortgage prevents them utilising the capital to build a better future.
More information about the First Mortgage and Community Infrastructure Program is available online at www.aboriginalvictoria.vic.gov.au