Program Function: The $2 billion Community Projects Grant forms part of the $5 billion WestInvest Program. The Community Projects Grants will fund transformational infrastructure projects that will improve the liveability of communities and making a real difference to the quality of life in Western Sydney.
The $2 billion in funding is administered as follows:
- Community Project Grants – Competitive Round will provide approximately $1.6 billion in funding to projects across 15 eligible LGAs in Western Sydney. Funding recipients include local councils, non-government organisations, charitable organisations and community groups.
- Community Project Grants – Local Government Allocation will provide approximately $400 million in funding for community projects in the 15 LGAs to advance local projects, with each local council eligible for between $20 million and $35 million, depending on population size.
Program Term: Applications for the Community Project Grants – Competitive Round opened on 2 May 2022, and closed on 25 July 2022. Successful projects were announced in January and February 2023. Projects are expected to commence from September 2023, with the majority of project to be completed by December 2027.
Applications for the Community Project Grants – Local Government Allocation opened on 2 May 2022, and closed on 25 July 2022. Successful projects were announced in October 2022. Projects are expected to commence from August 2023, with the majority of project to be completed by December 2027.
Applicants: A total of 754 grants applications were submitted for consideration, 191 of which were successful. The total amount awarded through WestInvest Community Program Grants is $2 billion.
Probity: The WestInvest Program Office engaged an independent probity advisor to oversee its grant programs. The role of the probity advisor is to ensure program administration satisfies probity principles of impartiality, fairness, accountability, confidentiality and achieves policy objectives. In doing this the probity advisor:
- Reviewed and provided feedback on key program documents
- Provided clarification to queries when required
- Recommended management action for conflicts of interest and any other probity issues that arose
- Attended assessment meetings to ensure, amongst other things, that assessment criteria were applied diligently, and the assessment was based on information provided by applicants.
Source Agency: The WestInvest Program Office administered the Program on behalf of the NSW Government. Final decisions on the award of funding were made by the NSW Treasurer.
Variance to the Steering Committee Recommendations: The WestInvest Steering Committee recommended 193 projects to the NSW Treasurer for approval through the WestInvest Community Projects grant program. All projects were approved. The NSW Treasurer also approved an additional four projects to receive funding through the WestInvest Community Projects Grants – Competitive Round. The four projects were included in the list provided to the NSW Treasurer by the WestInevst Steering Committee as suitable for funding, and scored 35 or above out of a possible 45, well above the cut off of 25 which is outlined in the Assessment Plan as the minimum score for a projects to be considered for funding. The projects are located in four Local Government Areas eligible for WestInvest funding: Canterbury-Bankstown, Fairfield, The Hills and Wollondilly. These LGAs received the lowest allocation of funds per head of population from the initial group of approved projects through the Community Projects Competitive Grants.
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