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Bega Valley Shire CouncilBega Valley Shire Council

Environmental Grants

Closing date:
12 May 2017 @ 5.00pm

Contact Officer
Michael Fiedler
Environmental Management Officer
Phone: 02 6499 2222
Email Michael

Funds available = $50,000

$50,000 has been allocated from the Bega Valley Shire Council's Environment Levy to enhance the local environment through the ‘Community Environmental Grants Program’.

A maximum of $6,000 is available for any one project and it is a competitive process.

To be eligible for a Community Environmental Grant, your group or organisation must:

  • Be not for profit
  • Be Bega Valley Shire based and deliver a project that benefits the area
  • Have an ABN and be incorporated (or be auspiced by an organisation that has an ABN and incorporation status).
  • Meet the requirements of the Community Environmental Grant Guidelines.

Check out the previous successful projects from other years.

Note: You can print the application by going to Part D of the form and clicking the Print Form button instead of submit.


Grant Guidelines

Background: The Environmental Grants Program has since 2011 provided funding and support to ‘not for profit’ community organisations and groups in protecting and enhancing our natural environment. The program aims at encouraging and assisting community involvement in the management of the Bega Valley Shire environment for the benefit of the whole region.  Non-profit organisations and community groups play an increasingly significant role in environmental protection, enhancement and education and also benefit from this involvement.

Overall grant program objectives

The Community Environmental Grant aims to:

  • Support community groups and organisations to enhance, protect and restore the natural environmental assets of the Shire.
  • Encourage and foster environmental ethic and behaviour change amongst the community.
  • Increase community awareness and understanding of environmental assets.
  • Support conservation strategies currently undertaken by Council.
  • Assist in the provision of innovative environmental management projects.

Grant specific criteria/information

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for funding under Council’s Community Environment Grants Program, the community group or organisation and project must meet the following criteria.

  • Projects need to be located within the Shire and be for the benefit of the local community.
  • Only non-profit incorporated community groups or organisations are eligible for funding.
  • Projects involving on-ground works must be undertaken on Council owned or managed lands or on sites providing important environmental benefits to the wider community.
  • Project applications should include a Certificate of Currency in respect to public liability insurance.
  • Project applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
  • Project applications should be supported by 2 letters of support.
  • Projects need to be completed by 30 June 2017 with a final report completed within 3 months of this date.
  • Projects need to be SMART – specific, measureable, achievable, realistic and able to be delivered in accordance with a time line.

Projects not eligible for grants

Funding will not be provided for:

  • Purchase of land
  • Day-to-day running costs of the organisation
  • Engaging on-going permanent employees (contract labour or consultant for the project may be engaged with Council approval)
  • Purchase of tools and equipment which do not remain in place for community benefit at the end of the project unless on-going community benefit can be demonstrated
  • Motorised hand tools that would require specialised training
  • Projects where the bulk of works have already been completed prior to the grant closing date
  • Normal property management
  • Commercial enhancement of a property

Eligible Projects

  • Habitat enhancement and extension
    These projects cover natural areas of Council-owned or managed bushland including dunes. Projects may include environmental weed control, regeneration and revegetation, stock exclusion/controlled grazing fencing, tree planting, erosion control and environmental infrastructure (eg interpretive trail, signage). Select areas would need to be protected from various threats such as grazing, weeds and fire. Sustainability of the project after the completion date must also be demonstrated.
  • Riparian restoration
    Riparian areas (wetlands and creek buffers) form major habitat corridors for wildlife. They also protect water quality.  Projects that enhance or expand these areas would be supported. Activities may include environmental weed removal, erosion control, tree planting, bank stabilisation, stock exclusion or water quality monitoring.
  • Wetlands habitat enhancement
    Wetlands on flood plains are of high strategic importance. Projects that increase wetlands habitat would be considered. Projects would need to demonstrate ongoing sustainability and be located strategically in the landscape.
  • Waterway protection and enhancement
    There are 27 estuaries within the Bega Valley Shire. These waterways provide important environmental, social and economic values. Projects enhancing waterway protection or aquatic habitat are encouraged.
  • Species recovery activities for Rare and Threatened species
    Many properties contain habitat that may contain or support listed Rare and Threatened species. Projects that target these species with specific initiatives would be considered. Activities need to align with any current Recovery Plans and comply with State Government legislation.
  • Environmental awareness campaigns to the community
    These projects would cover special initiatives to deliver an environment or conservation message to the community. Campaigns might focus on specific fauna or flora species, general conservation, special climate change initiatives or ecological sustainability.
  • Conservation of environmental areas of cultural significance
    Projects within this category may seek to restore or protect culturally significant resources in the region such as indigenous sites, historical and early settlements, man-made structures, trees or other natural features that have significant value to the local and or wider community. Projects would be restricted to the environmental aspects only.

In-kind contribution

Applicants are expected to contribute to the project through in-kind use of labour or materials. Labour hours provided by project participants should be estimated and costed at $37 / hour (Centre for Volunteering) (with specialist resources to be agreed in consultation with Council). As the grants program is competitive, the higher the level of in-kind contribution, the more competitive the application will be.

Grant Fund Conditions

  • The source of funding for the Community Environment Grants Program is the Bega Valley Shire Environment Levy and $50,000 has been allocated to the fund.
  • A maximum funding limit of $6,000 has been established for each project.
  • Each organisation approved for funding must comply with the terms and conditions set out in this Guide.
  • Further conditions may be set by Council as part of any grant offer.
  • Unless otherwise specified in writing, grants are paid in advance and in full to the body with legal and financial responsibility for the project.
  • Grantees will sign a Confirmation of Acceptance agreement sent out with an offer, prior to receiving funds.
  • Grants must be spent by 30 June 2017 unless otherwise specified. All funding expendituremust be reported to Council, with copies of appropriate receipts. Any surplus funds must be returned to Council within one month of completion of the project. Grants must be used for the purpose stated in the submitted application.
  • Written approval is required from Council to change the purpose, amount or time for expenditure of grants.
  • If your organisation does not meet all the requirements, your organisation may be asked to repay the grant.
  • Groups and individuals must provide details of public liability insurance cover, if projects involve public land or volunteers.
  • Appropriate Risk Management must be undertaken by the grant recipient, sponsoring organisation, their contractors and volunteers to ensure safety.

Educational requirements and grant conditions

Successful applications may be required to display a grant sign (provided by Council) adjacent to the project site.

Every project funded will be identified by the Council in press releases and on Council’s web site.

It is a condition of grant that each project be available for a possible field trip by interested residents or the subject of a case study to highlight any educational aspects.

Letters of support for community projects

Community groups proposing to seek funding are recommended to obtain appropriate letters of support for their project. Letters of support strengthen your application because they show you have support from the broader community for your project and also emphasise the benefit your project will create. They are also critical if your group proposes to conduct work on any public or private land. Letters of support may be written by:

  • Office bearers from community groups who use or know of your service.
  • Those who will receive some benefit from your project.
  • School teacher or principal.
  • Department of Primary Industries – Crown Lands
  • Department of Primary Industries – Fisheries
  • South East Local Land Services
  • Others who will support your project.

Sponsoring organisations

Informal community groups (unincorporated) are required to be sponsored by an incorporated body to ensure appropriate insurances are covered and work health safety obligations are fulfilled. Responsibilities of the sponsoring organisation can include the following;

  1. Work Health Safety (WHS) –ensuring the supported community group is aware of and trained in WHS Act and its requirements. WHS responsibilities of the sponsored organisation will include training for volunteers, on-site WHS management and inductions for volunteers (e.g. working bees) and sub-contractors
  2. insurance – Public Liability and Personal Accident
  3. financial and other reporting – (dependent on capacity of the group and their agreement with the sponsor)
  4. administration of money for groups
  5. general group support – site visits, meetings, advice

BVSC will allow up to 10% charge (of total grant value) for administration costs by the sponsoring organisations to a maximum of $500.

BVSC expects a minimum level of service by the sponsoring organisation in regards to covering insurances including Public Liability and Personal Accident, financial reporting and having appropriate processes in place to meet obligations under the WHS legislation for the sponsored group as listed above in point 1.

Grant program timelines

  • The program is available all year around, subject to available funds.
Grant steps Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
Advertise                        
Applications open                        
Applications close                        
Assessment Committee Review                        
Report to Council                        
Advise applicants and complete agreements                        
Activity undertaken                        
Activity reports / acquittals                        

 

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