Healthy Communities Initiative (Phase 3)


The Australian Government, through the National Partnership, is providing funding of $71.8 million over four years (2009-10 to 2012-13) to the Healthy Communities Initiative (HCI) to address the rising prevalence of lifestyle related chronic disease.  This funding will support Local Government Areas (LGAs) in delivering effective community based physical activity and healthy eating programs, as well as developing a range of policy environments to support healthy lifestyle behaviours.

The Healthy Communities Initiative aims to help reduce the prevalence of overweight and obesity within participating communities by maximising the number of adults, predominantly not in the paid workforce, who are engaged in proven or innovative physical activity and healthy eating programs.

The Healthy Communities Initiative will utilise the following strategies to achieve these objectives:

  • increase people’s awareness of the importance of physical activity and healthy eating;
  • increase the availability of proven or innovative physical activity, healthy eating and healthy lifestyle programs;
  • increase participation in these community based programs for adults predominantly not in the paid workforce; and
  • utilise resources currently available through local government, the community, the non-government and not-for-profit health sectors (including the National Program Grant recipients) and industry to facilitate the expansion of programs.

The Healthy Communities Initiative will be rolled out over three phases:

  • Phase 1 (consisting of a Pilot Phase from May 2010 – June 2011 and an optional Extension Phase from July 2011 – June 2013),
  • Phase 2 (June 2011 – June 2013);
  • Phase 3 (October 2011 – June 2013).

Who can apply?

Only LGAs (defined as local government bodies, either individually, as a member of a consortium or as a member of an established regional organisation of councils) can apply for funding under the Healthy Communities Initiative.

All LGAs are eligible to apply for a government grant under Phase 3, with the exception of those LGAs already funded under Phase 1 or Phase 2. LGAs may apply for funding as a single LGA, as a lead LGA in a small group of LGAs with neighbouring target cohorts, or as a lead LGA partnering with a not-for-profit organisation where a pre-established arrangement exists. The lead LGA, in all instances, will be responsible for the grant.

Healthy Communities Initiative applicants are limited to ONE application only per grant funding round. Multiple applications are not permitted. Applicants that were unsuccessful in Phase 1 and/or 2 may reapply for Phase 3.

Funding and Grant Distribution

Total funding of $566,042 (GST exclusive) will be made available to successful Phase 3 LGAs over a period of 21 months (October 2011 – June 2013).  The amount is based on a base rate of $280,357 (GST exclusive) per annum indexed at 1.019%.

The provisions of the Australian Taxation Office’s GST Ruling GSTR 2006/11 Goods and services tax: Appropriations (“GSTR 2006/11”) enable such payments to be treated as outside of the scope of GST. Therefore, GST is not payable on these grants.

Healthy Communities Initiative applications will be assessed on a jurisdictional basis. Grants for Phase 3 will be distributed proportionally across the jurisdictions as follows:

  • New South Wales – 12 grants
  • Victoria –  10 grants
  • Queensland – 9 grants
  • Western Australia – 7 grants
  • South Australia – 6 grants
  • Northern Territory – 2 grants
  • Tasmania –  1 grant
  • Australian Capital Territory   nil (sole LGA already funded in the pilot phase)
  • TOTAL –  47 grants

If an insufficient number of applications of an adequate quality are received from within a state or territory, grants may be re-allocated to other jurisdictions where demand and application quality exceed expectations.


Selection Criteria

Healthy Communities Initiative funding will be provided on a competitive basis.  The Australian Government will require all applicants to provide information relating to their proposed approach in implementing the grant, their capacity to successfully implement the grant, and an outline of how the proposed approach will link with existing national policies and priorities and the objectives and other components of the Healthy Communities Initiative.

In assessing government grant applications, consideration will be given to:

  • population demographics;
  • program design;
  • utilisation of National Programs;
  • capacity, synergies and leadership;
  • commitment to related policy; and
  • the delivery of quality programs.

Details for each of these assessment criteria are outlined in the Program Guidelines.

How to apply

Healthy Communities Initiative applicants must complete an Application Form to be eligible to receive funding. Prior to submitting the application, applicants should ensure all necessary information has been provided by completing the Application Checklist at the end of this Guide.

Do not exceed the stated maximum word limits.  Note that these are an upper limit only – if you provide all the necessary information using fewer words you will not be penalised.  However, you will be penalised for any question in which you exceed the word limit.  Check you have not exceeded the word limit by highlighting the text for each question and running a word count.

Applications close at 2.00pm Canberra AEST on Friday 19 August 2011

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