Local Government Allocation FAQ
Frequently asked questions about the WestInvest Community Project Grants - Local Government allocation.
The WestInvest Community Project Grants – Local Government Allocation 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.
The organisation that lodged the ROI and was assessed eligible cannot now be changed. Both the organisation and the project have been assessed through the ROI process as eligible and there is no process for re-opening ROIs to assess new applicants.
If Council proceeds with the application they can choose to partner with another entity (i.e. a sporting organisation) to jointly deliver the project. As the Guidelines and the FAQ detail it would be Council that is the lead organisation and they will need to:
- Enter into the funding deed
- Be responsible for the ultimate delivery the project
- Be 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 the Council wanted to enter a joint funding deed with the community organisation they should indicate this in their application and we can consider the circumstances around this.
The organisation that lodged the Registration of interest (ROI) through the WestInvest Community Project Grants- Competitive Round and was assessed eligible, cannot now be changed.
Both the organisation and the project have been assessed through the ROI process as eligible, and there is no process for re-opening ROIs to assess new applicants.
However, Council would be able to lodge the project through the WestInvest Community Project Grants- Local Government Allocation.
Local Councils can hire new staff to work exclusively on WestInvest projects. It is important to include the human resources required to deliver the project in the budget and project plans included in the Business Case.
In addition to this, Local Councils should provide an overview of the roles that will be delivering the project – reference section 5 of the Business Case.
It is important to note that WestInvest funds can only be used for the delivery of WestInvest projects and any ongoing staff costs beyond the delivery of the WestInvest project are not eligible costs. This is outlined in the WestInvest Program Guidelines Local Government Allocation document.
No this is not a requirement.
The Business Case template asks applicants to outline what the community need is and Council can refer to any of their internal documents that may support the project however there is no requirement for any specific document to be referenced.
Each council can spend up to 10 per cent of their allocated funds for work related to the preparation of their grant bids, scoping of projects and preparation of applications such as consultants, traffic studies, and grant documentation.
The 10 per cent can be used to fund the preparation of applications under both the Council Allocation Round and the Community Competitive Round.
Each Council can submit an invoice to the NSW Government for expenditure incurred towards preparing WestInvest applications.
This includes the cost of internal staff where the cost is directly related to preparing the application.
The invoice submitted will be a claim from the Council to the NSW Government for total expenses incurred.
There is no need to prepare separate invoices for each expense.
The acquittal forms will be sent to councils once applications close on 25 June 2022.
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:
- Quality Green and Open Spaces
- Community Infrastructure
- School Modernisation
- Arts and Cultural Facilities
- High Street Activation
- 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.
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.
The Community Project Grants – Local Government Allocation 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.
Eligible councils are able to submit applications to deliver projects in the following 15 LGAs in Western Sydney:
Partnerships between councils to deliver regional infrastructure (e.g. parks, cycleways) across one or more LGA boundaries are encouraged.
Approximately $400 million non-competitive funding is allocated to this Community Project Grants – Local Government Allocation of this Program.
Each of the 15 councils is eligible for between $21 million and $35 million made up of a $20 million base allocation plus $38 per head of population based on ABS 2020 data.
A WestInvest Steering Committee (the Steering Committee), comprising senior executives of the NSW Public Service, has been established to oversee the WestInvest Program and recommend projects for funding to the Treasurer based on an assessment of eligible applications against the relevant assessment criteria. The assessment process for the Community Project Grants – Local Government Allocation is outlined below.
The Treasurer will approve the awarding of funding to local councils. Any departures from the recommendations of the Steering Committee will be documented as part of the approval process.
- Applications open: 31 March 2022
- Applications close: 25 July 2022 at 5:00pm
- Assessment: From 2 May 2022. Applications will be assessed as they are received.
- Successful applicants advised: Progressively, as projects are approved
- Funding Deeds executed and works commence: From June 2022
- Program and expenditure ends: December 2026. Projects that require a longer delivery timeframe will be considered.
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.
Applications must be completed in full and submitted online via the WestInvest Online SmartyGrants Portal.
Applications will close on 25 June 2022 at 5:00pm.
Local councils 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 application will include a business case. Templates for the business cases are available on the WestInvest website.
A Category 1 Business Case will be required for projects $1 million and under. Projects over $1 million will submit a Category 2 Business Case, with projects over $10 million are required to include additional information regarding quantitative benefits.
Each council can spend up to 10 per cent of their allocated funds for work related to the preparation of their grant bids, scoping of projects and preparation of applications such as consultants, traffic studies, and grant documentation. The 10 per cent can also fund the preparation of applications for the Community Competitive Round.
Councils will be required to submit an invoice in arrears of incurring expenditure towards preparation of their applications. A separate form will be available, and this will be sent directly to councils during the application stage. Councils will need to demonstrate that they have incurred the expenses over and above their normal operations, and how the funding has been used. Expenditure will be assessed for eligibility by the NSW Government as part of the acquittal process.
The type of business case required for the application is dependent on the estimated project cost.
|Estimated total cost of the project||Application required|
|$1 million and under||Category A Business Case|
|Over $1 million||Category B Business Case|
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.
There are a number of ways councils can request for information, help or advice, such as:
- Online webinars
- Competitive Community Grant Guidelines
- Business Case Templates
- Phone: (02) 9228 5260
- Email: email@example.com
Further information and materials are available on the WestInvest website.
The minimum funding amount that can be applied per project is $250,000. Councils can choose to fund one or more projects from their allocated funding providing the project meets the criteria of the WestInvest program.
Councils 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.
WestInvest will only fund the delivery of new projects, including planning, selection and implementation (for example, land acquisition, construction, and other essential expenditure required for delivery). Proposals that expand the scope of projects that have already been announced may also be considered.
Examples of eligible council projects include:
- Active transport infrastructure including cycleways and walkways
- Upgrade or refurbishment of community halls
- Upgrade or installation of sporting facilities
- The purchase of land to create new parks or open and green spaces
- New infrastructure or an upgrade/expansion of existing infrastructure
Specific projects could include:
- A project to build a community centre where service providers can lease rooms to deliver their programs. Funding would be provided to build the infrastructure, not the programs or services to be delivered from that infrastructure nor the ongoing maintenance of the infrastructure.
- A project to re-furbish or upgrade existing community infrastructure, with a demonstrable public benefit from the future use of the facility.
- A project which enables an existing facility to become a multi-purpose facility for use by multiple entities or members of the community who previously did not have access.
- A project to re-route local traffic through a town centre to improve pedestrian and active transport flow. Local councils are eligible to apply for funds to upgrade local council owned roads which would also improve the liveability of neighbourhoods adjacent to those roads.
- A project to construct a forecourt or community facilities on vacant council land adjoining retail or commercial premises to augment open space and public accessibility.
- A project to build a cultural centre that includes an area for a café that is operated on a commercial basis where the revenue supports the ongoing operations and maintenance of the facility.
- A project to develop an all-hours gathering space featuring a showcase of sculptures, art installations and light shows.
WestInvest will not provide funding for ongoing operating or maintenance costs. Councils 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:
- Have funds allocated to repairs and maintenance of current infrastructure
- Are for the day-to-day delivery of essential or core local government or community services already funded through another budget source
- Are considered business as usual and where other alternate or appropriate state or commonwealth funding sources should be accessed to deliver the project
- Have exclusive private benefits or provide direct commercial and/or exclusive private benefit to an individual or business.
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.
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.
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
Co-contributions are not required for the Community Project Grants – Local Council Allocations.
However, applications will be considered favourably in the assessment process where a co-contribution strengthens the deliverability of the project. This could include a cocontribution to the project from a ‘for profit’ entity.
Co-contributions can be cash and/or in-kind (nonmonetary) but must meet the definition of Eligible Costs set out in the Guideline.
If the council does not own the land on which the infrastructure will be built (for example, where the land is owned by the NSW Government), it must demonstrate that it has, or is 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.
Once applications have closed on 25 June 2022, additional information or documentation cannot be submitted by applicants after the closing date.
There is no limit to number of applications for different projects.
Councils are required to submit their applications by the deadline to meet NSW Government timeframes for assessing applications and awarding funding. Late applications in the Community Project – Local Government Allocation round may be considered on a case-by-case basis where DPC Is satisfied the integrity of the assessment process has not been compromised.
Please note that if your council also intends to apply for funding in the Community Project – Competitive Community Round, DPC has limited discretion to consider extensions for this Round because funding will be awarded on a competitive basis.
This is not a requirement of the application. It is a matter for each council to ensure it seeks any necessary internal approvals before making an application.
There are two steps to the assessment of a WestInvest project, consistent with the requirements of this Guideline. The steps are:
- Eligibility Review – All projects will be assessed to ensure that council and the project meet the eligibility requirements.
- Project Assessment – Project assessment will be informed by an analysis of the business case and information provided in the application.
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.
Assessors will also consider whether local government projects are complementary or not inconsistent with a State Government project approved under the $3 billion allocated to State Government projects.
All five criteria are weighted equally (i.e. 20 per cent for each of the five).
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.
Successful councils will receive written notification of the grant outcome. Once notified successful councils should note:
- Councils must not make financial commitments for funding activities until funding agreements have been executed.
- Councils will be required to enter a Funding Deed with DPC. Under the funding deed recipients will be required to provide additional documentation on claims including a copy of all relevant insurances and project approvals.
- The funding deed may include conditions.
- Successful councils must not make financial commitments for funded activities until a funding deed has been executed.
- Successful councils 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 councils 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 councils 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.
You will receive a written notice on the outcome of your application. Each council will be able to request feedback on the application from DPC.
If a council’s application for funding from its allocation is unsuccessful, the council can submit a new project for assessment. Council’s will not lose their allocated funding but must submit an eligible project that meets the assessment criteria.
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.
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 application.
Once projects have been approved, DPC will negotiate with the successful council/s to finalise timelines and sign the funding deed.
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.
Councils must include an evaluation plan as a part of their application (in business case). We require the councils 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 councils need to include.
Any changes to project scope, cost or timelines will need to be negotiated with the NSW Government under the terms of the funding deed.
Each council will be required to submit quarterly progress reporting through the online system. 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.
All applicants must comply with any future Public Heath orders. Further advice is available on the NSW Government site.
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.
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:
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: (02) 9228 5555
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.
You may be eligible to access whole of Government (WOG) procurement pre-approved contractor resources available through NSWbuy.
The NSWbuy website provides general information about suppliers which may be useful for your organisation. However, to gain full access to these resources you must complete an application on the NSWbuy website. NSW buy undertake to ensure that all applications are processed and approved within 15 working days.
Organisations in the WestInvest Program area who are eligible and 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.
The list of organisations that are both eligible for the WestInvest program and NSWbuy access include:
- a local council or authority,
- a charity or community non-profit organisation if it is a legal entity,
- a private school or college if it is a legal entity and not for profit, and
- a public university.
Not what you're looking for?
Find information about the WestInvest Community Project Grants - Competitive Round here.