Guidelines for the new Building Better Regions Fund released

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Number: A32/2016

Date: 24 November 2016

Relevant: Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands

Topic: Guidelines for the new Building Better Regions Fund released

Senator the Hon Fiona Nash, Minister for Regional Development, announced the guidelines for the new Building Better Regions Fund on Wednesday, 23 November.

The Building Better Regions Fund, which is worth $297.7 million, provides funding for infrastructure and community investment projects that will create jobs, drive economic growth and build stronger regional communities into the future. Eligible applicants in rural, regional and remote Australia, including the Indian Ocean Territories, can apply for grants under the Building Better Regions Fund.

There are two streams under the Building Better Regions Fund.

  • The Infrastructure Projects Stream provides funding for projects which involve the construction of new infrastructure, or the upgrade or extension of existing infrastructure that provide economic and social benefits to regional and remote areas.
    • Applicants under this stream can apply for a minimum grant amount of $20,000 up to a maximum grant amount of $10 million.
  • The Community Investments Stream will fund community building activities including, but not limited to, new or expanded local events, strategic regional plans, and leadership and capability building activities. These projects will deliver economic and social benefits to regional and remote communities.
    • Applicants under this stream can apply for a minimum grant amount of $5,000 up to a maximum grant amount of $10 million. Given the nature of eligible projects under this stream, most grants are expected to be under $100,000.

The two streams of funding have separate guidelines. Applicants can now access the guidelines for each of the two streams and begin preparing their applications, which can be submitted on-line from 18 January, 2017.

Go to www.business.gov.au/assistance/building-better-regions-fund for more information about the Building Better Regions Fund, and to access the Program Guidelines for each of the two streams as well as the Am I Ready to Apply? checklist. Applicants should read all relevant Fund documents before applying. An information session will also be recorded and posted to the website in late January 2017.

To be eligible to apply, you must be a legal entity, have an Australian Business Number and be either a local governing body or a not for profit organisation (if you are a not for profit organisation applying under the Infrastructure Projects stream your organisation will need to have been established for at least two years). Please consult the program guidelines to confirm whether your organisation is eligible to apply and whether your application will meet the eligibility requirements. 

Both Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands have been classified as “very remote” for Fund purposes which means your organisation will be required to contribute co-funding of at least $1 for every $3 of grant funding requested, unless you are seeking a co-funding exemption due to exceptional circumstances or are seeking less than $20,000 grant funding in the Community Investments Stream.

When using the mapping tool to provide the latitude and longitude of your project location in the Indian Ocean Territories, we recommend you find the project location address by using the search facility rather than the cursor. 

The Am I Ready to Apply? checklist asks potential applicants whether they have engaged with their local Regional Development Australia (RDA) Committee “to present a strong application”. The Indian Ocean Territories does not have a local RDA but does have a Regional Development Organisation (RDO). Contact the Office of the Administrator if you wish to engage on your application with the Indian Ocean Territories' RDO.

Eligible applicants from the Indian Ocean Territories are encouraged to apply but please note that funding under the Building Better Regions Fund will be very competitive.

Barry Haase
Administrator
Indian Ocean Territories