Up to $200,000 is available from the Victorian Adaptation and Sustainability Partnership for projects that enhance sustainability and climate resilience.
Victorian Adaptation and Sustainability Partnership
The Victorian Adaptation and Sustainability Partnership grants program delivers funding and support to work undertaken by local government on climate change adaptation and sustainability projects. The key aims of the program are to:
- strengthen relationships between and within State government, local government and communities
- provide real and practical support to local governments working on climate change adaptation and sustainability
- facilitate learning and knowledge sharing to improve the capacity and efficiency of government
- build the capacity of resource constrained councils.
Previous funding rounds have allocated over $10 million in grants to councils across Victoria. Funded projects have raised the priority of climate change within councils, supported councils to work with their communities to become more sustainable and prompted on-ground action.
$4.79 million in Victorian Adaptation and Sustainability Partnership grants have been awarded to support local government work in climate adaptation.
A 2012 study done in consultation with local government Supporting Victorian Local Government Manage Climate Risks and Adapt to Change identified climate change adaptation as a key issue needing to be addressed. That same year an independent review of the Climate Change Act 2010 also advocated for a stronger focus on climate change adaptation. In line with these recommendations, the Victorian Adaptation and Sustainability Partnership was established as a strategic priority of the Victorian Government for supporting local climate resilience.
Climate Change Adaptation
Climate change adaptation is about increasing public and private resilience to climate risks through better decisions about managing our built and natural environment and taking advantage of opportunities. Climate hazards include (but are not limited to) bushfires, floods and storms, heat waves, sea level rise and coastal inundation.
Climate-related hazards and risks will be experienced to different degrees and in different ways across Victoria – but the concept of climate change adaptation is important for all parts of the state. The Victorian Adaptation and Sustainability Partnership 2013 grants program supports local government to increase community resilience to climate change, recognising the importance of place-based responses and the need to develop regional partnerships and deliver effective action on the ground.
The Victorian Government has committed $4.75 million in funding for the 2013 Victorian Adaptation and Sustainability Partnership grants round.
The proportion of the $4.75 million dollars which will be allocated to each of the funding streams and categories is not set. A significant portion of the funds will be directed to the competitive stream, allowing for the funding of eligible non-competitive grants as well.
In the non-competitive category applications can be made for up to $40,000 per council partner. This means that if there are three councils partnering in an application, they can apply for up to $120,000. If ten councils were to partner in an application, they can apply for up to $400,000. There is no limit to the number of partners in an application, however eligible councils can only apply once in the non-competitive category. Resource constrained councils can apply individually for grants of $40,000 where they can provide strong argument for the need for the project to be undertaken as an individual council rather than in partnership.
In the competitive category applications can be made for up to $200,000 in total. This means that a partnership of any number of councils can only apply for $200,000 in total.
Matched funding (in kind or cash) is required for all applications.
Projects funded in the 2013 Victorian Adaptation and Sustainability Partnershipgrants program must fit within one of two climate change adaptation streams:
- Stream One – Embedding climate adaptation in local government decision making and
- Stream Two – Putting climate adaptation plans into action.
The 2013 funding round will also deliver funding through two categories: a Competitive Category open to all Victorian councils and a Non-competitive Category designed to support resource constrained councils.
The categories are designed to support innovation in the sector whilst also building capacity in resource constrained councils. The eligibility criteria for these categories aim to promote collaboration and efficient and effective delivery of projects that engage with the two climate change adaptation funding streams.
Stream one – Embedding climate adaptation in local government decision making
Effective adaptation outcomes are achieved when adaptation actions are integrated across all council operations and included in existing council plans and policies. This stream will focus on mainstreaming climate risk planning and adaptation actions into council organisational plans and decision making. This stream supports adaptation planning at the local or regional scale.
This stream is also about building the capacity to use climate assessment information.
This funding stream will focus on:
- building knowledge and skills in climate risk assessment and adaptation planning
- integration of adaptation into council plans, policies and processes
- regional-scale adaptation planning.
Some examples of real Victorian Adaptation and Sustainability Partnership projects that would fit within this stream are:
- Goulburn Broken Local Government Regional Climate Change Adaptation Plan, a partnership project between members of the Goulburn Broken Greenhouse Alliance, which identified significant risks and actions to adapt to or mitigate the impacts of climate change across the four operational areas of councils: asset management, planning and development, economic development, and community development.
- Climate Resilient Communities of the Barwon South West, a partnership project between councils from the Barwon South West region, led by Colac Otway Shire Council, which built resilience within the local community through the preparation of climate preparedness plans for communities in South Western Victoria.
- The Western Alliance for Greenhouse Action Climate Change Risk Adaptation Response Plan, led by Maribyrnong City Council, which is developing a shared, integrated plan to address climate risks to the western metropolitan Melbourne region.
Stream two – Putting climate adaptation plans into action
This stream will support councils to actively manage climate risks to public assets and services, including natural assets. This may include projects that trial innovative approaches, materials and technologies.
The stream is also designed to support councils to assist their communities and local economies to build capacity and make effective decisions regarding climate change resilience. The focus will be on place-based practical action involving industry and/or local communities. Councils will need to have adaptation actions in place in their council plans and/or strategies to apply under this funding round. This could include a regional plan or having undertaken a climate risk assessment.
Some examples of real projects that would fit within this theme are:
- Bushland Management and Climate Change: Adapting management practices in response to climate change, a project led by the Shire of Yarra Ranges, in partnership with Maroondah City Council and Knox City Council, which investigated potential impacts of a changing climate on the ability of local governments to manage their bushland assets.
- Growing Green Guide, a project led by City of Melbourne along with the Inner Melbourne Action Plan group of councils, which is developing best practice guidelines for green roofs and walls in partnership with the sector.
- Green Infrastructure Standards, a project led by the City of Greater Geelong in partnership with Colac Otway Shire Council, which is developing a set of standards for more sustainable civil infrastructure.