Up to $500M is available from Sustainability Fund for projects that improve waste management, increase recycling, and maximises resource efficiency.
The Sustainability Fund receives money collected from Victorian landfill levies after funds are distributed by the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change to key environmental agencies including the Environment Protection Authority, Sustainability Victoria and the seven Waste and Resource Recovery Groups.
Since its creation in 2005, the Fund has supported businesses, local governments and communities through a range of waste management, recycling, resource efficiency and climate change programs.
On 1 July 2015, responsibility for managing the Fund transferred from Sustainability Victoria and the Environment Protection Authority to the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. The key reasons for the legislative change are to improve transparency and improve clarity around governance.
The purpose of the Sustainability Fund, as defined by Section 70 of the Environmental Protection Act 1970, is to:
- foster environmentally sustainable uses of resources and best practices in waste management to advance the social and economic development of Victoria; and/or
- foster community action or innovation in relation to the reduction of greenhouse gas substance emissions or adaptation or adjustment to climate change in Victoria.
Funding allocations are made by the Premier and the Minister, taking into account government policy and the Fund’s Priority Statement.
The Victorian Government is committed to reinvesting funds from the landfill levy back into the community.
The 2016-17 State Budget secured $136 million from the Fund for initiatives that tackle climate change, support better waste management, increase recycling and protect Victoria’s biodiversity.
This investment includes:
- $32 million towards Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation;
- $54 million to Protect Victoria’s Biodiversity;
- $16 million for Jobs and Innovation in Resource Recovery;
- $10 million towards Driving Growth in Renewable Energy;
- $24 million for Saving Energy Growing Jobs.
Fund monies can be allocated either as:
- a grant to any of a wide range of recipients; or
- strategic initiatives which align with the purpose and priorities of the Fund and delivered through Government Departments and Statutory Agencies.
To further support transparency and accountability of the expenditure of Fund monies, DELWP will also publish the allocation of funds in its Annual Report. Once the Annual Report has been tabled in Parliament, a list of all Fund allocations to grants and strategic initiatives will be published on DELWP’s website. There is no predetermined limit with respect to the amount of financial support available from the Fund for individual projects funded as grants or strategic initiatives.
In making decisions regarding the allocation of Fund monies, the Premier and the Minister will consider how the project meets the legislated objectives of the Fund as per section 70 of the Act, and the priorities as set out in the Priority Statement. The Premier and Minister will also consider any advice provided by the Sustainability Fund Committee. Projects may be funded based on direct recommendation of the Committee. For any other proposals, the Premier and the Minister will seek advice from the Sustainability Fund Manager directly or via the Committee before allocating Fund monies to a project so that they are informed about compliance of the proposal with legislated obligations, its consistency with the priority statement and other considerations such as value for money
The purpose of the Fund is to support projects, programs, services or technologies that will benefit Victoria environmentally, socially and economically. The project must therefore be implemented in Victoria.
Grant allocations from the Fund may be made to a wide range of incorporated or otherwise legally constituted entities. These include community groups, councils, government departments, statutory entities, non-government organisations and businesses. Funding is not available for individuals, nor can it be used to supplement the core administrative costs of an existing organisation.