Competitive Round FAQ

Frequently asked questions about the WestInvest Community Project Grants - Competitive Round.

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The WestInvest Community Project Grants – Competitive Round applications have been extended by four weeks. 

Organisations who were successful in the Registration of Interest process now have until 5.00pm on 25 July 2022 to submit their application.

These FAQs will be reviewed and updated as further questions are received.

New FAQs

Does the extension of time for WestInvest applications change the level of information required in the applications.

The WestInvest Community Project Grants program has been extended by four weeks to provide organisations with additional time to submit their applications. This extension does not alter any of the application requirements. Applicants must complete all of the required fields in the SmartyGrants form. 

Does the extension of time for WestInvest applications, change the competitive nature of the program?

The extension of time does not alter the competitive nature of the WestInvest grants program. While applicants are able to submit their application any time between now and 5:00pm on 25 July, there is no advantage to submitting an application early. No applications will be assessed until 26 July and applications will be assessed together. 

Is there an example of how I should complete the Business Case?

A Business Case Example and a Business Case Example Budget are available on the WestInvest website under the Resources section. These documents are designed to provide WestInvest applicants with a guide only on how the WestInvest Business Case could be completed. It is not designed to limit the amount of information an applicant can include in their business case or in the attachments they choose to upload. We would encourage applicants to provide as much detail as they believe is required to support their application. 

This example has been created using the Category B Business Case template (for projects over $1 million). It, however, is also suitable for applicants completing a Category A Business Case ($1 million and under) to refer to this example. Please note, those organisations submitting application(s) for projects $1 million and under, are only required to complete the fields listed within the Category A template and will not be required to complete the additional fields as outlined within the example. 

As a reminder, all Business Case questions must be completed in the SmartyGrants system.

Can I increase the amount of money I am applying for, if the cost has increased since I submitted my ROI?

The ROI process required you to provide cost estimates for your project. We understand that there may some variance as you move through the application phase, including increases in expected costs. This may be due to increases in materials costs or higher labour charges, or other unforeseen expense variances. 

If this is the case, you can increase the amount you are applying for. You cannot, however, apply for additional funding that changes the original scope of your project. 

It is recommended that you consider whether the increased cost significantly changes the scope of the project and the outcomes intended for the community. This will be assessed when the eligibility of the project is re-considered during the full assessment stage. 

What should I do if I have tried to get landowner consent, but I haven’t yet heard back?

If the applicant does not own the land on which the infrastructure will be built, they must demonstrate that they have, or are in the process of obtaining, the necessary consent from the landowner. Where this process is complex, applications may be approved subject to these consents being obtained within an agreed timeframe. If you do not receive a response from the landowner before applications close at 5.00pm on 27 June, we encourage you to outline the steps you have taken to get landowner consent. While the project could progress through the assessment process, we would not approve any WestInvest funding unless landowner consent is received.

Can an application be transferred from the Competitive Round portal to the Local Government Allocation portal in Smarty Grants?

Unfortunately, the SmartyGrants system is unable to automatically transfer eligible WestInvest Community Project Grants- Competitive round Registration of Interest (ROI) applications across to the Local Government allocation section. 

Staff preparing applications for the WestInvest Local Government Allocation will need to select the ‘Start Submission’ bar to complete the online application form. Any pre populated data from the eligible ROI can be copied and pasted into the WestInvest Local Government Allocation online application form. 

We have investigated options on how to assist Councils with this process, including considering tasking the WestInvest Project Office to manually undertake this task. However we have concluded it is necessary for Councils to undertake this task to ensure the correct information is lodged. 

We encourage you to ensure all applications are submitted through SmartyGrants before applications close at 5.00pm on 27 June 2022.

Given the time extension for WestInvest applications, can we submit another application?

Only applicants who submitted an ROI prior to 21 April 2022, and were assessed as eligible to submit a full application, can apply for grant funding in the WestInvest Community Grants Program – Competitive Round. You application needs to correspond with the ROI you submitted. Applicants can not submit additional projects that were not assessed as eligible through the ROI process.

Can I edit the information that has been transferred over from the ROI and the fields that are locked in the application?

You are not able to make changes to the fields that are locked in SmartyGrants. These fields were assessed in the ROI stage, so it is important that they remain unchanged in the application stage. You can, however, note any changes to things like the project name or description in other parts of the application form, like the Executive Summary.

Can I change the name of the project that I submitted through the ROI stage?

You are not able to change the name of the project during the application stage. You can, however, indicate in the Project Description that you have a new name for the project, and list it in this section. You can also use the new name in other sections of the application when you are referring to your project.

How can I print a copy of my application through SmartyGrants?

Select Review and Submit from bottom of the Form. The Navigation bar sits on the right hand side of the application form. If you select the Review/Submit navigational bar, there will be an option to download a PDF of your application. The Submit bar is greyed out and cannot be selected, if the application is incomplete.

Can I request an extension?

All WestInvest applications must be received in the SmartyGrants system by 5pm on Monday 25 July 2022.

We are unable to approve requests for an extension on the time to submit your WestInvest application. The WestInvest Program Guidelines specify that any late applications will only be considered for assessment where DPC is satisfied that there are exceptional circumstances whereby the integrity and competitiveness of the assessment process has not been compromised.

How do I fill out the Business Case in Smarty Grants? Do I need to fill out the MS Word template and attach it?

The Business Case template and Business Case examples we have provided on our website are guides only.

You MUST complete all of the fields in the Business Case in the SmartyGrants online form. Uploaded documents should be supporting information only and should be referenced in the SmartyGrants online form.

We have a letter of support from the landowner, but it is not on the Landowner’s Consent Template. Will this letter of support satisfy the requirements for landowner consent?

Before any application can be assessed, the landowner needs to provide full or provisional landowner’s consent for the project to take place in a specific location. If a letter of support from the landowner includes all the information required in the Landowner Consent Form, you can submit this letter as evidence of landowner consent. However, we encourage applicants to ask the landowner to complete the Landowner Consent Form available on our website.


What is WestInvest

The new $5 billion WestInvest Program (WestInvest or the Program) will fund transformational infrastructure projects across Western Sydney, home to one of the fastest growing and most diverse populations in the nation. These projects will improve the liveability of communities, support economic recovery and make a real difference to the quality of life. 

WestInvest projects will be drawn from proposals put forward by NSW Government agencies, local government, and community organisations. Infrastructure projects will need to improve liveability and will be selected based on their potential to drive transformational change. 

All funding through WestInvest will be allocated to projects that drive outcomes to improve one or more of the six focus areas below: 

  1. Quality Green and Open Spaces 
  2. Community Infrastructure 
  3. School Modernisation 
  4. Arts and Cultural Facilities 
  5. High Street Activation 
  6. Local Traffic Programs 

Projects will be delivered across 15 Local Government Areas in Western Sydney.

These 15 LGAs cover the following Traditional Lands: Darkinjung, Darug, Dharawal, Gundungurra, Tharawal and Wangal as well as the boundaries of the Metropolitan, Darkinjung, Deerubbin, Gandangara and Tharawal Local Aboriginal Land Councils. 

How much money is in the WestInvest fund?

The $5 billion WestInvest Grant Program funding will be administered as follows: 

  • $2 billion for projects identified by the community, comprising: 
    • Approximately $400 million directly allocated to the 15 local councils in Western Sydney 
    • Approximately $1.6 billion in a competitive community grants program 
  • A further $3 billion is available to NSW Government agencies to deliver transformational projects of benefit to local communities.
What are the objectives of the Community Projects Grants – Competitive Round?

The Community Project Grants – Competitive Round will deliver infrastructure. Funded projects will improve liveability for the people of Western Sydney. The program is designed to deliver transformational change across six focus areas:

  • Quality green and open spaces - More parks and healthier natural environments that encourage active lifestyles and restore biodiversity and improve access to the environment. Cleaner natural waterways with improved access for water based recreation. 
  • Community infrastructure - Improved access to quality sport, recreation and other community facilities that bring people together and enable a diverse range of activities. 
  • School modernisation - State-of-the-art, cooler and accessible education facilities that can adapt to evolving learning standards and student needs. Infrastructure that prepares students for an increasingly digital world. 
  • Arts and cultural facilities - A broader range of arts and culture venues that reflect the diversity of Western Sydney, encouraging inclusive and regular community participation. 
  • High street activation - Increasing the vibrancy of precincts to increase footfall for businesses. Targeted improvements to public amenities and allowing easier access to essential goods and services within walking distance. 
  • Local traffic programs - Local streets are designed as comfortable, accessible and safe places for people with diverse use needs, including walking, wheeling and cycling.
What are the Key Dates of the Program
  • Registration of interest open: 31 March 2022
  • Registration of interest close: 21 April 2022, at 5:00pm
  • Applications open: 2 May 2022, at 9:00am
  • Applications close: 25 July 2022, at 5:00pm
  • Assessment: From 26 July 2022
  • Successful applicants advised: From December 2022
  • Funding Deeds executed and works commence: From December 2022
Which Local Government Areas (LGAs) are eligible?
a map of Sydney that highlights the local government areas eligible for WestInvest community project fund.

 Eligible councils are able to submit applications to deliver projects in the following 15 LGAs in Western Sydney:

Blue Mountains
The Hills
Am I an eligible applicant?

Eligible applicants must be non-government, not for profit and a legal entity. This will include: 

  • Local councils 
  • Non-government organisations, charitable organisations or community groups including:
    • Not for profit groups incorporated under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) 
    • Organisations incorporated under the Associations Incorporation Act 2009 (NSW) or equivalent legislation in other Australian jurisdictions or another Act. 
  • Not for profit organisations established under another Act including:
    • Local Aboriginal Land Councils
    • Public universities 

To find out if your entity is an eligible, please refer to ‘Community Project Grants -Competitive Round Guidelines’ available here.

Can I partner with someone?

Yes, where a project involves a partnership, generally only one eligible applicant can be the party that: 

  • Enters into the funding deed 
  • Delivers the project 
  • Is able to provide evidence that they will have the ongoing legal management and control of the infrastructure and that the infrastructure funded will continue to provide public community benefit for a reasonable period of time following completion. 

The NSW Government will consider options for joint funding deeds on a case by case basis. 

If entering into a partnership, do both entities need to contribute to the funding of the project?

Co-contributions are not required for the Community Project Grants – Competitive Round. However, applications will be considered favourably in the assessment process where a co-contribution strengthens the deliverability of the project. This could include a co-contribution to the project from a ‘for profit’ entity. 

Where a project has a co-contribution, the eligible applicant must be the party that: 

  • Enters into the funding deed 
  • Delivers the project 
  • Is able to provide evidence that they will have the ongoing legal management and control of the infrastructure and that the infrastructure funded will continue to provide public community benefit for a reasonable period of time following completion. 

Evidence of any co-contribution arrangements will be required as part of the application.

Who makes the final decision on which projects will be funded?

All projects will be assessed by Assessment Panels, comprising experts and senior government officials. Proposed recommendations will be submitted to the WestInvest Steering Committee (the Steering Committee) for consideration of final recommendations. The Steering Committee, comprising senior public service executives, has been established to oversee the WestInvest Program and recommend projects for funding based on an assessment of eligible applications against the relevant assessment criteria. 

The NSW Treasurer will provide final project approvals based on advice from the Steering Committee. Any departures from the recommendations of the Steering Committee will be documented as part of the approval process. 

How will the program ensure fairness amongst applicants?

The NSW Government is committed to ensuring a fair, effective and transparent grants process. All decisions made under this program will be made in accordance with the relevant program guidelines and the associated assessment criteria.

Can I submit a late ROI?

We aren’t in a position to extend the ROI. 

The ROI process should only take you about 30-40 minutes.

Organisations that do not submit an ROI cannot lodge an application unless DPC is satisfied that extraordinary circumstances have prevented the organisation from submitting an ROI.

Late ROIs will not be considered except where DPC is satisfied that there are extenuating circumstances and that the integrity and competitiveness of the assessment process has not been compromised. 

What happens to funds that are not expended?

WestInvest funding must be spent in accordance with the project elements outlined within the signed funding agreement.

Any additional funds that are not expended must be returned to the WestInvest Project.

How do we demonstrate landowner consent?

The applicant must complete the landowner consent form (DOCX 35.65KB) which is available on the WestInvest website and upload it with their application.

On this form, the applicant must demonstrate that they have, or are in the process of obtaining, the necessary consent from the landowner.

Where this process is complex, applications may be approved subject to these consents being obtained within an agreed timeframe.

Are organisations who hold leases eligible to submit applications?

An applicant with a long term lease would be considered eligible.

Applicants would need to demonstrate that they have consent from the landowner and provide evidence that their lease would extend for the useful life of the project.

How can I find the latest NSW population data and projections?

The NSW Department of Planning and Environment has released The 2022 NSW Population Projections for the state, regions and all Local Government Areas in NSW. Please see a link to the report here. 


How do I apply?

Applications must be completed in full and submitted online via the Department of Regional NSW Online SmartyGrants Portal, accessible though the WestInvest website.

Applicants will receive email notification when applications are submitted. Applications will open on 2 May 2022 at 9:00am.

What is the latest date I can lodge my application?

Applications will close on 25 July 2022 at 5:00pm. 

What do I have to include in my application?

Applicants will be required to provide information in the application that is commensurate to the funding amount sought, total estimated cost of the project, project scale and risk profile of the project. 

Each applicant will provide this information in a business case. Templates for the business cases are available here.

A Category A Business Case will be required for projects $1 million and under. Projects over $1 million will submit a Category B Business Case, with projects over $10 million are required to include additional information regarding quantitative benefits. 

Who can I speak to if I am having technical difficulties submitting my application?

Contact Officers are available to assist you if you have any questions about the application process or need clarification on program guidelines. Please contact or call 9228 5260.

If you have concerns about using SmartyGrants or require assistance, please download the Help Guide for Applicants or check out Applicant Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s). 

Which Business Case should I use?

The type of business case required for the application is dependent on the estimated project cost. 

Estimated total cost of the projectApplication required
$1 million and underCategory A Business Case
Over $1 millionCategory B Business Case
Am I required to present a Benefit Cost Ratio?

The Category B Business Case template seeks Information and data to enable completion of a Cost Benefit Analysis by the NSW Government. All projects, both for Category A and Category B, must have a clearly articulated statement of expected benefits, both quantified and unquantified. A project may be submitted for assessment with a quantified cost benefit ratio of less than one. However, any such project would require a clear articulation of the anticipated unquantified benefits to enable robust assessment. 

How do I get information, help or advice on completing my business case? 

There are a number of ways applicants can request information, help or advice, such as:
•    Online webinars 
•    Competitive Community Grant Guidelines 
•    Business Case Templates 
•    Phone: 9228 5260 
•    Email: 

Further information and materials are available on the WestInvest website.

Is there a minimum or maximum value for my project?

The minimum funding amount that can be applied for eligible projects is $250,000. There is no cap on the amount of funding that can be applied for, as long as the project is of a transformational scale and meets the criteria of the WestInvest program. 

Applicants are permitted to submit more than one application for different projects. 

Applicants will be required to provide information in the application that is commensurate to the funding amount sought, total estimated cost of the project, project scale and risk profile of the project.

What can I use the funding for?

The Community Project Grants – Competitive Round will deliver infrastructure. WestInvest will only fund the delivery of new projects, including planning, selection and implementation (for example, land acquisition, design, construction, and other essential expenditure required for delivery). Proposals that expand the scope of projects that have already been announced may also be considered. 

What can’t I use the funding for?

WestInvest will not provide funding for ongoing operating or maintenance costs. Proponents will need to provide evidence that they can fund the ongoing operating and maintenance costs of a project seeking WestInvest funding. 

Infrastructure projects are not eligible for funding if they are: 

  • A community park to be built by a private company. While the park may improve liveability for a community, a private “for profit” company is not eligible to apply. The company could partner with a local council and provide funding for the park. 
  • A community facility or park which requires a proponent (whether private or public) to deliver a community facility as a requirement under a Condition of Approval for a larger project. 
  • A project to provide mental health support to youth living in Western Sydney as this is not infrastructure. The Program will not provide funds to employ staff to deliver programs or services to the community. 
  • A project from a community organisation to build a community centre which they will not own, and they do not have the agreement of the landowner to maintain and manage the asset as a community centre on an ongoing basis. 
  • A project to build a large road that would be owned and managed by the NSW Government. Community Project Grants will not fund NSW government road projects. 
  • A project to rebuild or repair an essential public asset or other community infrastructure impacted by a natural disaster and eligible for funding under the Australian Government/State Disaster Funding Arrangements, unless there is a proposal for a co-contribution arrangement to add value, improve resilience for future disaster events and transform the existing infrastructure. 
What is an eligible cost?

Eligible costs include: 

  • The delivery of new projects, including planning, selection and implementation including land acquisition, construction, and other essential expenditure required for delivery. 
  • Administration costs, not exceeding 20 per cent of the total funding request.
What administration costs can be funded?

Administration costs must not exceed 20 per cent of the total funding requested and must be directly related to the delivery of the project. Administration costs can include: 

  • Project management costs, including the appointment of temporary staff to oversee project activities 
  • Operational or overhead costs to directly support delivery of the project 
  • Cost of preparing material to support planning approvals and other regulatory requirements 
  • Cost of preparing reports and project documentation 
  • Management costs for a partnership arrangement. 

Other administration costs will be considered. Project contingency costs do not need to be included in the 20 per cent allocated towards administration costs. 

What is an ineligible cost?

The following operating and ongoing maintenance costs of the infrastructure will not be funded: 

  • Financing, including debt financing 
  • Insurance or rental costs 
  • Plant and equipment beyond the life of the project. The applicant might choose to use WestInvest funding to lease or contribute towards the cost of purchasing plant and equipment, so long as the contribution is solely attributable to the project 
  • Depreciation of plant and equipment beyond the life of the project 
  • Non-project related staff training and development costs 
  • Ongoing staff or operational costs beyond the scope and timeframe of the funded project 
  • Business as usual operational expenditure, including but not limited to regular repairs 
  • Administration cost over 20 per cent of the total funding request 
  • Incentives or prizes e.g., prizes to support a fundraising activity
Can I apply if I am not the land owner?

If the applicant does not own the land on which the infrastructure will be built, they must demonstrate that they have, or are in the process of obtaining, the necessary consent from the landowner. Where this process is complex, applications may be approved subject to these consents being obtained within an agreed timeframe. 

Where the applicant does not have a long-term lease over land on which they will build their infrastructure they will need to demonstrate that they have the ongoing legal management and control of the infrastructure for as long as the infrastructure is expected to provide a public community benefit. 

Applicants requiring planning or other permissions will need to demonstrate that the intended project is a permissible use of the land and identify all relevant planning approvals and permissions that will be required. Applications may be approved subject to obtaining any necessary approvals and permissions within an agreed timeframe. 

A template landowner consent form can be accessed here. Please note, if works are being undertaken on Department of Education land, then approval by the Asset Management Unit (AMU) will be required. 

Can I amend my application after submission?

Once applications have closed on 25 July 2022, additional information or documentation cannot be submitted by applicants after the closing date.

How many times can I apply?

There is no limit to number of applications for different projects. 

What if I miss the deadline?

Late applications will not be considered except where DPC is satisfied that the integrity and competitiveness of the assessment process has not been compromised. DPC will not penalise any applicant whose application is received late if the delay is due solely to mishandling by DPC or RNSW. 

Do applications from Local Government require a formal resolution?

Each Council can decide on their internal approval processes, this is not a requirement of the application.

Can I switch my ROI/Application to another user in SmartyGrants?

Yes, you just need to send through the details for the new user (name, email, organisation) as well as the application number to

Can I change the location of my project from what I included in my ROI application?

Through the ROI process, we assessed the eligibility of each project, including its location. Applicants cannot change their project location in their full application, except in the following circumstances:  

  • To locate suitable land, if the project involves land acquisition.
  • To secure a location where the owner is willing to give landowner consent.
  • To secure locations in multiple LGAs, if the project involves the delivery of infrastructure across multiple LGAs. 
  • Where the location identified in the ROI is no longer suitable because of unforeseen circumstances. 

Any changes to the location of the project must not impact on the project description and scope as submitted at the ROI phase.

How will the WestInvest team conduct a Cost-Benefit-Analysis?

The WestInvest team will use qualitative and quantifiable information, provided by the applicant, to conduct a Cost-Benefit Analysis

Applicants do not need to conduct a Cost-Benefit Analysis.

Projects over $10 million are required to include specific information regarding quantitative benefits.

How do I show regulatory approvals if acquiring land from the open market?

Your application should include your plan to acquire land, including a list of all regulatory approvals needed.

As outlined in the assessment criteria, applicants will be assessed on Deliverability, which includes the likelihood of obtaining land and approvals. A clear plan needs to be included in the application.

Are detailed quotes from contractors required?

Detailed quotes are encouraged but not required as part of the application stage. All applications need to provide a detailed breakdown of costs within the budget section of the Business Case.

Is the purchase of existing infrastructure eligible? 

The purchase of existing infrastructure would be considered eligible if the applicant could show that any refurbishment or upgrade would meet the WestInvest Guidelines.

Can funding be used to maintain the facility?

No. As part of the deliverability criteria, an organisation must demonstrate its capacity to deliver the project within budget and timeframes.

How can an organisation demonstrate the viability of their project? 

An organisation needs to demonstrate the viability of the project deliverable (infrastructure) after the project is completed including: 

  • Clearly identify the entity that will own the infrastructure at the completion of the project and demonstrate they have agreed to assume responsibility for the ongoing management and maintenance.
  • Provide evidence that the owner/custodian has agreed and has capacity to fund the ongoing operating and maintenance costs of the infrastructure.
  • Demonstrate the ongoing financial viability of the entity responsible for the ongoing management and maintenance of the infrastructure.

It is up to the applicant to determine how to best demonstrate this.

Is documentation, such as planning permission, land surveys and construction drawings required as part of the application?

No, documentation such as land surveying, construction drawings are not required as part of the application.

Applicants requiring planning or other permissions will need to demonstrate that the intended project is a permissible use of the land and identify all relevant planning approvals and permissions that will be required if the application is successful.Applications may be approved subject to obtaining any necessary approvals and permissions within an agreed timeframe.

Can we provide hyperlinks in an application to link to public information?

No. Please do not include any links within the application. All information must be submitted or attached to your application within the SmartyGrants system. 

The reason for this is that we need to be absolutely clear on the information that we are assessing. If our assessors use a link to go to the internet to seek information, we cannot be confident they are looking at exactly the right section or page. 

We also need to keep an audit trail of the exact information provided in applications.

If successful, how long does the applicant need to own the land and the asset?

Applicants are expected to demonstrate how operating costs for the infrastructure will be funded. In the Business Case Category B form in SmartyGrants, Section 4.4 (Projected Ongoing Costs) asks applicants to estimate the useful life. 
WestInvest projects should remain fit for purpose during the useful life. Applicants will be required to demonstrate how operational and ongoing costs will be met in order to ensure this.

Conditions relating to the retention of the property and land by the applicant after completing of the project will be considered during negotiations of a funding deed for each individual project. However, successful applicants will be expected to ensure community benefits continue to be delivered from the infrastructure over its useful life.

Application Assessment

How will my project be assessed?

There are three steps to the assessment of an application lodged under the WestInvest Community Projects Grants – Competitive Round. The steps are: 

  1. Eligibility Review – All projects will be assessed by DRNSW to ensure that the applicant and the project meet the eligibility requirements. Note this step is in addition to the ROI process outlined above that all applicants must first have undertaken. 
  2. Project Assessment – Assessment Panels comprising experts and senior government officials will assess all eligible applications. Assessment will be informed by an analysis of the business case and information provided in the application. 
  3. WestInvest Program Alignment – The Program Alignment will look across all applications received through the Community Project Grants – Competitive Round that are eligible (Step 1) and have been assessed as having merit (Step 2). 
What is meant by Program Alignment?

WestInvest is a large program that will fund a broad range of government and non-government projects across Western Sydney. To ensure that the entire WestInvest Program can deliver the desired objectives there will be a Program Alignment Check (Step 3) in the assessment process. This will be undertaken by a Panel convened from the chairs of the Assessment Panels. 

The program alignment process may result in projects that have been assessed as being eligible and having merit not being funded. 

The Program Alignment Check will take into account projects already approved for funding for NSW Government projects, the amounts allocated to each council and (to the extent known) any projects approved under the Community Project Grants – Local Government Allocation. 

The Program Alignment Check will determine the final projects to be recommended for funding according to five criteria: 

  1. Geography: are the recommended projects collectively delivering benefits to communities across the 15 eligible LGAs? 
  2. Focus Areas: are the recommended projects collectively providing benefits across all 6 focus areas? 
  3. Transformational scale: are there a mix of projects delivering benefits to communities at a local, LGA and regional scale? 
  4. Affordability: can the collective pool of final recommended projects be accommodated within the fixed funding allocation for the Community Project Grants? 
  5. Complementarity: are the projects consistent with or complementary to other projects already determined for State Government Projects or Council Projects? 
What criteria will my project be assessed against?

All eligible applications will be assessed (Step 2) against the following five criteria:

  • Liveability – demonstrate how the project will enhance or improve liveability for a community. 
  • Transformational – demonstrate how the project’s liveability outcomes will endure over time, and /or can compound benefits with other initiatives and/or capitalises on a time-limited opportunity. 
  • Value for Money – demonstrate that the project is cost effective and will deliver benefit to the community. 
  • Deliverability – demonstrate that the project can be delivered within budget and timeframes, and has or can obtain all necessary approvals and consents. 
  • Viability – demonstrate that the owner of the infrastructure can manage and maintain it. 
How are the criteria weighted?

All five criteria are weighted equally (i.e. 20 per cent for each of the five). 

What is a Transformational Project?

Transformational projects can have impact on a community at a local, LGA or regional scale. 

Transformational projects must demonstrate how they are delivering across one or more of the following criteria: 

  • Enduring benefits: the project will deliver benefits both immediately and for future generations. 
  • Enhancement: the project will bring a significant or exceptional increase to the relevant measures of liveability. 
  • Enabling: The project acts as an enabler to other projects or activities to provide greater benefit to the community. 
  • Leverages an immediate opportunity: The project exploits an opportunity that will otherwise be lost. 
  • Not usual business: The project is an opportunity that would not normally be funded by government or another organisation, but it will enhance liveability.

Application Outcome

What happens if my application is successful?

Successful applicants will receive written notification of the grant outcome. Once notified successful applicants should note:

  • Successful applicants will be required to enter into a funding deed with the NSW Government.
  • The funding deed may include conditions.
  • Successful applicants must not make financial commitments for funded activities until a funding deed has been executed.
  • Successful applicants will be required to submit reports on project delivery, milestones, and risks on a quarterly basis. This will extend to reporting on project evaluations, in line with submitted evaluation plans, to determine the extent to which their projects have achieved their intended short-term outcomes.
  • The NSW Government reserve the right to use recipient and project information in media regarding the Program. Information may be used in the form of press releases, case studies, promotional material and in response to media enquires relevant to the Program.
  • The requirement to acknowledge NSW Government support for the project in all communications including project signage, promotional materials as per the NSW Government Funding Acknowledgement Guidelines available on the NSW Government site. 
  • Under the funding deed recipients will be required to provide additional documentation on payment claims including a copy of all relevant insurances and project approvals.
  • Grants will be paid via milestone payments set out in the funding deed.
  • Requests for variations or changes to the project will only be considered in limited circumstances.
  • Successful applicants will be required to pay back unspent funds or those funds which have not been spent and/or cannot be evidenced as spent in accordance with the funding deed.
  • The NSW Government reserves the right to undertake an audit of grant funding within seven years of the project commencing.
  • Funding recipients are required to keep an appropriate paper trail for audit and assurance purposes.
How will I know if my application has been unsuccessful?

You will receive a written notice on the outcome of your application. Each applicant will be able to request feedback on the application from DPC. 

Can I appeal against the decision not to fund my project?

No, the Treasurer’s decision, based on advice from the Steering Committee, on all applications is final. However all applicants will be offered feedback on their application from DPC. 

If successful, how long will I have to complete my project?

In most cases projects will need to be completed by December 2026. If a project is particularly large or complex, a later completion date may be discussed and agreed upon at the time of entering the funding deed. 

When will the funding period start?

Once projects have been approved, negotiation will occur with the successful applicants to finalise timelines and sign the funding deed. 

How will I access the funding?

The funding will be provided to successful applicants on a milestone-based system. The first milestone will be the signing of the funding deed and the first payment will be made soon after the funding deed has been signed. Further details will be confirmed in the funding deeds. 

How will my project be evaluated?

Applicants need to include an evaluation plan as a part of their application (in business case). We require the applicant to show how they will evaluate their project at the end to show that the project is successful. The business case templates outline the information applicants need to include. 

What do I do if there are changes to my project?

Any changes to project scope, cost or timelines will need to be negotiated with the NSW Government under the terms of the funding deed. 

How do I report progress of my project?

You will be required to submit quarterly progress reporting through the online system. On a regular basis in-depth reviews of the progress of your project may be undertaken. 

Further details regarding reporting, invoicing, and payment processes will be discussed with the successful applicant as part of negotiation of funding deeds.

How will grants funds be released over the life of the project? 

Successful applicants will be notified in writing and will be required to enter into a funding deed prior to the payment of any funding.

The funding will be provided to successful applicants on a milestone-based system. Special conditions may be included in the funding deed depending on the nature and scope of the project.

Successful applicants who sign a funding deed will be required to report regularly on the progress of their project.

The first milestone will be the signing of the funding deed.


What happens if the project is impacted by future Public Health orders?

All applicants must comply with any future Public Heath orders. Further advice is available on the NSW Government site. 

How will information be kept private?

Applicants should be aware that information submitted in applications and all related correspondence, attachments and other documents may be made publicly available under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (NSW) (GIPA Act). 

The GIPA Act gives the public an enforceable right to make access applications for government information restricts access to information only when there is an overriding public interest against disclosure. 

Before information is released in response to an application under the GIPA Act, there will be an assessment of the public interest considerations in favour of and against disclosure of that information and there may be consultation requirements that apply. 

Information may also be made publicly available as a result of an order for papers made by the NSW Legislative Council under Standing Order 52. 

Applicants should be aware that information included in their application may be shared with persons from other government agencies, third party subject matter experts and other professional advisers to facilitate the assessment process. 

If an application is successful, information about the project and the applicant may be shared in media releases, NSW Government websites and social media accounts. This information may include the name of the applicant and their business, a description of the funded project, the project’s expected community benefits, and the funding amount. 

Where can I find out more?

The WestInvest website provides access to resources to help applicants prepare their applications. Resources include guidelines, Frequently Asked Questions, and templates including simplified and standard business cases, examples of completed business cases, and a draft funding deed. 

A series of information webinars will be held during the application open period to enable applicants to ask questions and seek specific information about the Community Projects Grants – Local Government Allocation and the application process. Details of these webinars will be available on the WestInvest website.

For more information please contact us at:

How do I submit a complaint?

Any concerns about the WestInvest Community Project Grants should be submitted in writing to the Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC). DPC is committed to responding to external complaints fairly, efficiently and effectively. Concerns and complaints procedures for the WestInvest Community Grants Program follow the processes set out in the DPC External Complaints Handling Policy . This policy sets out the steps for managing an external complaint received by DPC and/or DRNSW regarding the WestInvest Program. If you are a person with a disability or experience difficulties in providing your complaint in writing, you can make a verbal complaint by contacting 02 9228 5555. DPC may require a verbal complaint by made in writing in circumstances where the matter is complex or contentious.

If you do not agree with the way DPC handled the issue, you may wish to contact the NSW Ombudsman.

Can my Council access NSW Government support for procurement?

Councils have access to their own procurement resources including Local Government Procurement and Regional Organisations of Council (ROC). 
Councils are also eligible to access whole of Government (WOG) procurement pre-approved contractor resources available through NSWbuy.

The NSWbuy web site provides general information about suppliers which may be useful. To gain full access to these resources Council must complete an application on the NSWbuy website. NSWbuy undertakes to ensure that all applications are processed and approved within 15 working days. 

Councils in the WestInvest Program area who are NOT already members of NSWbuy and wish to access this service to identify suppliers who could assist with preparation of an application for WestInvest funds should complete their registration as soon as soon as possible.

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