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Funding innovation in regional councils

Published: 18 May 2017

Rural and regional councils with fewer than 10,000 people are encouraged to apply for round two of the NSW Government’s Innovation Fund.


The NSW Government’s Innovation Fund supports rural and regional councils to solve problems unique to their communities and deliver better services to ratepayers.

Regional and rural councils often face unique challenges in sustaining their communities and maintaining local services.

To address these challenges, the Innovation Fund offers up to $4 million in grants to help councils explore new ways of working.

The grants are being offered over two rounds, with $2 million available each round.

One-off grants of up to $150,000 for individual projects and $400,000 for joint projects that improve frontline service delivery are available.

Applications close 9 June 2017.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW, John Barilaro said the Innovation Fund grants, under the NSW Government’s Fit for the Future initiative, make it easier for councils to develop new and efficient ways of working.

“The Innovation Fund is designed to improve small councils’ service delivery, governance, performance and financial sustainability,” Mr Barilaro said.

Funding innovation across 19 communities

During round one, the NSW Government supported 13 projects across 19 communities, including:

  • Hay Shire, which undertook a digital transformation to use technology to help overcome the tyranny of distance within regional NSW
  • Narromine Shire Council, which implemented business management software to better support the way council conducts its business
  • Bourke Shire Council, which implemented new software to allow a greater integration of systems across council operations.


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