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2020 Community Building Partnership Program Guidelines

The NSW Government is investing in infrastructure projects that deliver positive social, environmental and recreational outcomes while promoting community participation, inclusion and cohesion.

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More than $334 million has been awarded to over 15,000 projects through the Community Building Partnership (CBP) program since 2009.

In 2020, there is a maximum of $300,000 to allocate in each electorate. Incorporated not-for-profit community organisations and local councils are eligible to apply for grants of between $2500 and $300,000. Funding requests over $300,000 will not be considered. As a guide, the average grant awarded is around $20,000.

Projects with contributions from their own or other sources will be considered favourably. Local councils, including their section 355 committees, are required to provide matched funding to the CBP grants.

As total funding will be divided equally among the state electorates of NSW, applications will be assessed against other proposed projects within the same electorate.


Eligible projects will be assessed against four equally weighted program criteria:

  1. Enhancing facilities — the project develops a vibrant, sustainable and inclusive community through the enhancement or construction of community infrastructure.
  2. Meeting community needs — the project supports activities and services needed by local communities.
  3. Increasing community participation — the project encourages participation in activities or services needed by a broad section of the community.
  4. The organisation’s capacity — the applicant has the capacity to deliver the project on time and within scope.

Key dates

4 May 2020 Applications open 9am
12 June 2020 Applications close 5pm sharp
June to November Eligibility, assessment and approval process
Late November 2020 Announcement of successful projects and advice to all applicants
31 March 2022 Project completion deadline


Eligible applicants

Applications are invited from:

  • incorporated not-for-profit community organisations
  • NSW local councils (and their section 355 committees) operating under the Local Government Act 1993.

Incorporated not-for-profit bodies are organisations that are registered and approved as not-for-profit bodies by NSW Fair Trading.

They can include:

  • charities
  • organisations with Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) or Public Benevolent Institution (PBI) status
  • cooperatives
  • companies limited by guarantee
  • trusts that are registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC)
  • associations (under the Associations Incorporation Act 2009)
  • Local Aboriginal Land Councils
  • religious organisations
  • organisations established under an Act of Parliament.

Note: Organisations listed on the ACNC Register must have a current and up-to-date record. Any organisation which has defaulted on providing the required documentation to the ACNC will have funding withheld if the project is successful. Any outstanding issues must be resolved before the CBP project completion deadline, or organisations may have the grant offer withdrawn.

Where an organisation is eligible to apply for funding, that organisation must apply under its own legal name and ABN (if applicable).

Where an eligible organisation applies on behalf of another eligible organisation, the application will not be considered.

CBP will not fund:

  • individuals or groups of individuals
  • unincorporated organisations
  • for-profit commercial organisations
  • organisations with two or more un-acquitted CBP projects from CBP2017–18. Eligibility will be assessed based on CBP2017–18 acquittal paperwork received by the CBP team on or before 12 June 2020.
  • NSW Government or Australian Government agencies and their entities (including NSW Government schools, Local Health Districts and public hospitals). These organisations should consider whether there is an incorporated not-for-profit body, such as a Parents and Citizens (P&C) Association, hospital auxiliary or incorporated entity that uses Crown Land facilities, that may be eligible to apply for funding.

Common questions — eligible applicants

An application must be made by a single organisation that will accept responsibility for the delivery of the project if the application is successful.

No, you must be incorporated as at 12 June 2020. For more information about becoming incorporated, call the registry of co-operatives and associations at NSW Fair Trading on 1800 502 042.

If you have an ABN, you can check your incorporation status online.

If your grant application is successful, you must demonstrate your incorporation status on the ABN register when completing your Funding Deed. If you do not have an ABN, you must be able to demonstrate your incorporation status with the Department of Fair Trading when you complete your Funding Deed. CBP reserves the right to seek clarification on the applicant’s incorporation status.

It is preferable that your organisation holds an ABN and that it links to your organisation’s name and/or trading or business name. If your organisation name does not match the details for the ABN, please call NSW Fair Trading on 1800 502 042 to update your details.

If your organisation does not have an ABN but has an Incorporation Number, you are still eligible to apply for funding. You will be required to provide a Statement by Supplier Form (refer to the ATO website) to receive payment of the funds if your application is successful.

P&C applicants must be incorporated as at 12 June 2020 to be eligible for CBP funding. To determine or apply for incorporation status, P&C members can contact the P&C Federation’s Member Services on 1300 885 982 or at

P&C applicants must consult with the school principal about any proposed projects on public school grounds.

Applicants proposing projects on public school grounds must have completed the relevant Department of Education Asset Management Unit (AMU) form, signed by the school principal.

The school principal’s signature on the AMU form does not qualify as approval to proceed with works. The completed form must be submitted by the school principal to the AMU for formal approval once the CBP application is successful.

The following information must be provided on the form:

  • AMU location (principal can advise if unsure)
  • school
  • school principal
  • funding source
  • detailed description of works.

As part of the CBP eligibility process, the AMU will use the information provided in the application to assess whether school-based projects are appropriate and viable.

If the CBP application is successful, funding will only be made available once the AMU has approved the project.

Note: Private schools do not need to submit an AMU form with their application. 

Local councils may submit applications for each state government electorate within their local government area.

Councils should submit one application per project location, even if they are seeking funding for a number of sites within the same electorate. Applications will be assessed against other proposed projects within the same electorate.

Local councils (including their section 355 committees) are required to provide matched funding to the CBP grants. Matched funding from councils must be in the form of cash and can be provided from council income sources or from other external funding sources.

Local councils and their relevant section 355 committees must provide evidence of agreement on cash matching at the time of application.

In-kind contributions can be included in the project’s budget but will not be counted as part of the council’s matching cash contribution.

Section 355 committees must submit applications under the relevant local council name.

Projects on council land

Where a project is to be managed by a council but the council is not the applicant, the council will be required to provide owner’s consent and indicate the project delivery time frames at the time of application.

Eligible projects

CBP supports projects involving the:

  • construction of new community infrastructure
  • refurbishment, repair and maintenance of existing community infrastructure
  • purchase of capital equipment with a minimum individual asset value of more than $2500.

Projects not eligible for CBP funding

The CBP is a community infrastructure grant program; it does not fund activities which are not related to community infrastructure. These include:

  • projects that have commenced works prior to the grant round closing date (12 June 2020)
  • projects located outside of NSW
  • projects that seek funding to:
    • run workshops, training or facilitation
    • pay for development approval, project planning and management costs that total more than 5% of approved funding
    • stage events or exhibit displays
    • undertake filming or recording
    • cover operating costs or recurrent expenses, such as staff costs, insurance, leases, bills, consumables and disposables
    • deliver programs or services
    • purchase portable equipment (i.e. a desktop computer may be eligible but a laptop computer is not)
    • purchase capital equipment with an individual asset value less than $2500 where the total cost of the equipment forms more than 30% of the entire project cost funded by the CBP grant
    • undertake studies or investigations
    • purchase land or buildings (fixed assets)
  • projects that involve the development of private or commercial ventures, including licensed areas of registered clubs such as liquor and/or gaming areas
  • projects receiving funding from other grant programs for the same scope of works
  • projects that should be funded as a core responsibility from another source, such as a local government, the NSW Government or the Australian Government
  • project works or costs that are covered by insurance claims (e.g. repairs following weather events).

Common questions — eligible projects

Yes, but projects involving vehicles – including cars, buses, trailers, rescue vehicles and any modifications to existing vehicles including trade-ins – will only be considered if they:

  • deliver positive social, environmental and recreational outcomes
  • promote community participation, inclusion and cohesion.

If you seek funding for a project involving a vehicle, enter the address where the vehicle will be registered as the project location on the application form. This address must match the address shown on the registration papers for the vehicle and the project location information in your Funding Deed and Completion Report.

For more information, refer to question 12.

Buying capital equipment with an individual asset value less than $2500 will only be considered where the total cost of the equipment forms less than 30 per cent of the entire project cost funded by the CBP grant. For example:

  • A kitchen upgrade project seeking $3000 funding solely to purchase two dishwashers (each costing $1500) would be deemed ineligible, whereas funding for one commercial-grade dishwasher costing $4000 would be eligible.
  • For a kitchen upgrade project seeking funding of $10,000 in total, no more than $3000 (30% of requested CBP funding) may be spent on dishwashers or other capital equipment with an individual asset value less than $2500.

No. The assessment process is competitive. Applications will be assessed on how they address the program assessment criteria and compare to other applications from the same electorate.

Not necessarily. The application form allows organisations to nominate a full and partial funding amount to deliver their project.

Organisations should list in their application a modified project scope they will deliver if only partial funding is offered. If an organisation is unable to modify their project scope when partial funding is offered, the organisation will be encouraged to obtain the balance of funds required to deliver the project from other sources.

Organisations that receive partial funding must still deliver the partially funded project scope within the agreed program time frames.

If your project commenced after the grant round closing date, 12 June 2020, and your grant application was successful, please contact the CBP Team to have your funding reimbursed.

If your project was completed before this date, you cannot be reimbursed for these works.

For more information, refer to Question 31.

Projects seeking funding exclusively for costs associated with planning or a development consent application are not eligible.

A maximum of 5% of grant funding may be allocated towards costs associated with the preparation and management of projects, including applying for and securing development approval and designs. These costs will be considered if integral to the successful delivery of the project.

No. Applications listing more than one project location, or listing an electorate or region, will be deemed ineligible. You must submit one application per project location even if you have multiple projects within the same electorate. Each application is assessed against other projects within the electorate.

You need to talk to all MPs involved before putting in an application. Your application will only be assessed in the host electorate by the local MP. If your application is successful, the MPs involved will need to advise CBP of the joint funding arrangement.

Your chance of success in getting funded has no direct relationship to the number of MPs involved. 

It is preferable that you obtain all planning approvals, including development consent from local councils before applying for CBP funding. Crown Lands and Heritage Council approvals can be lengthy processes – generally taking up to two years. If you do not already have these approvals, it is unlikely your project will be completed within the time frame allowed by the CBP program. Failure to deliver a project within the time frame may result in your grant offer being withdrawn.

Projects that do not have development consent will still be considered, however, you must have commenced discussions with your local council and be ready to lodge the development application by November 2020.

Development consent must be secured by 31 July 2021. The release of the grant funds is conditional on the development consent being secured. If you do not secure development consent by this date, the grant offer may be withdrawn.

If you are not sure whether you require planning approval, contact your local council. 

Yes. You are responsible for obtaining approval for the proposed project from the appropriate land or property owner/s.

If your project is on council land and council will be project managing, you must obtain owner’s consent, and time frames for delivery of the project must be provided by council at the time of the CBP application. Projects must be delivered by 31 March 2022.

If you are a leaseholder, you must ensure the length of your lease will enable you to complete your project and provide the public benefit required if your application is successful as per the Program Guidelines and as agreed in your Funding Deed. Evidence of length of lease may be required prior to the release of funding.

If your project location is a public school, approval by the Department of Education is required as owner’s consent. Refer to Question 4. If your grant is solely for equipment purchase, owner’s consent may not be required – please contact the CBP team to clarify.

It is preferable that you secure approval from the land or property owner before applying for the CBP funding.

If not yet secured, you should have at least commenced relevant discussions at the time of your application.

If your project is successful and the land or property owner’s consent is applicable, the release of grant funds will depend on evidence of consent and the time frame for delivery of the project. If this information is not provided by 31 July 2021, the grant offer may be withdrawn.

Your organisation is required to provide a valid Certificate of Currency for Public Liability Insurance with a minimum cover of $5 million in the name of the applicant before funding can be released.

Your organisation is responsible for ensuring that it has appropriate insurance coverage in place for the project works, equipment or activities, and its day-to-day operations.

It is recommended, but not a condition of funding, that organisations also have personal accident, professional indemnity, and directors and officers insurance.

Organisations that employ staff must comply with relevant industrial relations, and workplace health and safety requirements.

Yes, provided that the works funded with the CBP grant are a new project stage that does not commence before 12 June 2020 and will be completed by 31 March 2022. 

How to apply

Step one: Access SmartyGrants

Visit the CBP SmartyGrants website.

If your organisation does not have an account, click ‘Register’.

If your organisation already has a SmartyGrants account from another grant program or a previous CBP funding round, you may log in using the same username and password.

Step two: Apply

Once logged into SmartyGrants, click ‘Start new submission’.

Complete one online application form for each project location.

Submit your completed application by 5pm AEST on Friday 12 June 2020. No late applications will be accepted.

Important notes:

  • Your application must be accurate and complete upon submission. If all of the required information is not provided, your application will be deemed ineligible.
  • Submission of an application does not guarantee funding.
  • The cost of preparing an application is the responsibility of the applicant.

If you require assistance, contact the CBP helpline on (02) 8753 8144 or email

Applicant’s declaration

The declaration section of the application must be authorised as follows:

  • by a member of the executive/committee as deemed under the Articles of Association for not-for-profit organisations
  • by the General Manager or delegated officer of the council submitting the application.

This will require the applicant to certify that the application is truthful and to agree that the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet (or its delegated agents) may disclose information contained in the application to other government agencies, local government authorities, reviewers and staff assisting with the administration or promotion of other state government grant schemes.

Conflicts of interest

All applicants must declare if they or key members of the organisation know anything that may cause the relevant MP to have an actual, perceived or potential conflict of interest when deciding whether or not to support your application.

Providing information about grounds for a conflict of interest does not generally affect a project’s eligibility to receive grant funding under the CBP program. As MPs are involved in the assessment of CBP applications, it is important that all information about possible conflicts is recorded.

Examples of actual, perceived or potential conflicts of interest may include:

  • financial interests, such as the MP or a member of the MP’s family is a shareholder or member of the applicant’s organisation, or is a landlord of the applicant’s premises
  • where the MP or a member of the MP’s family is a member of the applicant’s governing board or committee
  • where a member of the MP’s family is enrolled at the applicant school, or is a member of the applicant sporting club or religious organisation
  • where key members of the applicant organisation have worked with the MP on a local political or election campaign
  • any other relationship that the applicant or members of the applicant’s organisation have with the MP, or have had in the past, that might appear to a bystander to have the capacity to influence the MP’s decision.

Common questions - how to apply

Applications can only be made through the CBP SmartyGrants website.

No. The only system will not accept applications submitted after the advertised closing time of 5pm on Friday 12 June 2020.

If you are having problems submitting your application, you should contact the helpline on (02) 8753 8144 well before the closing date and in time to seek assistance.

This is very important. Each application must accurately identify the project location so that funding is allocated from the correct electorate. All program reporting relates to the specific project location. Any uncertainty may lead to delays in delivering your project.

For more information on how to enter the project location, refer to the hints below the question in the application form. Contact the CBP team if you are in doubt.

For projects involving vehicles, see Question 6.

Organisations may submit multiple applications. There is usually a very high demand for funds in each electorate and applicants should consider which application is the highest priority. 

It is preferred that at least one quote is uploaded to substantiate the funding amount requested.

Quotes should align with and substantiate information provided in the project budget.

The project budget should be presented by major line items and in enough detail for assessors to consider it within the competitive assessment process.

Yes. Voluntary labour and donated materials are allowed as part of the not-for-profit organisation’s contribution to the cost of a project. Voluntary labour and donated materials, including estimated value, should be provided in the project budget.

Council and section 355 applicants cannot match CBP funding with a value-in-kind contribution.

Yes. Your funding request should include the GST that you will be charged by contractors or suppliers as part of the project cost/delivery.

If your application is successful and your organisation ABN is registered for GST, you will be paid GST on top of the approved grant amount. If your organisation ABN is not registered for GST or you do not have an ABN, you will only be paid the approved grant amount.

Local councils, as government-related entities, are out of scope for GST. If successful, local councils will only be paid the approved grant amount. 

No. Applications may be saved, revisited and edited before being submitted.

Yes. Once you have completed an application you will be asked to review and submit it.

Your application is not officially submitted for consideration until you have reviewed it, corrected any errors and clicked ‘submit’.

Once you click submit, you will receive a confirmation email that will contain a PDF copy of your application. Check to ensure that you have received this email and retain it as a record of your application.

If you have not received this email, your application has not been successfully submitted, or the confirmation email has ended up in your junk mailbox.

You can also log in to the online system and click ‘My Submissions’ to view all submitted and un-submitted applications. Submitted applications are identified by a green tick.

Your obligations if successful

Keep your contact details up to date in SmartyGrants

It is the responsibility of the grant recipient to keep the CBP team up to date with any change in contact information.

If the SmartyGrants user account contact details change, call 02 8753 8144 or email

The CBP team is not responsible for any consequences should your grant offer be withdrawn due to out-of-date contact details in SmartyGrants.

Meet all program requirements and due dates

Successful applicants are required to meet the following program requirements. Failure to meet the due dates listed below may result in the withdrawal of your grant offer.

Due dates for projects not requiring development consent

31 March 2021 Submit EFT Banking Details online
31 March 2021 Submit online Funding Deed
15 July 2021 Submit online Progress Report
31 March 2022 Complete project
30 April 2022 Submit online Completion Report


Due dates for projects requiring development consent

31 March 2021 Submit online EFT Banking Details
15 July 2021 Submit online Progress Report
31 July 2021 Submit online Funding Deed
 31 March 2022 Complete project
30 April 2022 Submit online Completion Report


Submit Funding Deed and Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) Banking Details form

Successful applicants are required to submit an online Funding Deed and EFT Banking Details form before the due date. It is your responsibility to carefully read the terms and conditions of the Funding Deed and provide the correct banking details before submitting the online forms. Funds transferred to an incorrect bank account may not be recoverable. Find

Sample Funding Deed with single installment acquittal (PDF, 760.42 KB)


Your submitted Funding Deed will be reviewed by CBP. You may be required to provide evidence of owner’s consent, length of lease, public liability insurance and development consent or exemption if they are not already provided with the application. Upon completion of the review, your Funding Deed will be countersigned by CBP and sent to you by email.

Contact the CBP team on if your project has been completed before the announcement of the successful projects.

Submit Progress Report

It is a program requirement for all grant recipients to submit a mid-way Progress Report regardless of whether the project is paid and whether development consent is required.

An online Progress Report will be available in SmartyGrants between 1 and 15 July 2021.

This is an important part of the reporting cycle as it allows any concerns with project delivery to be managed more effectively. Failing to submit the Progress Report may result in withdrawal of your grant offer.

Seek approval for any variations

It is a program requirement that any variations to the approved project scope, project location and completion time frames outlined in the original CBP application form on SmartyGrants be formally requested and approved through SmartyGrants before any related work takes place. Failure to do so may result in the withdrawal of the grant offer.

To discuss your change request, call the CBP team on (02) 8753 8144 or email You will be required to provide documents to support your request.

Submit Completion Report

All CBP 2020 projects must be completed before 31 March 2022. You are required to submit a Completion Report in SmarytGrants no later than 30 April 2022.

Successful applicants should familiarise themselves with the

CBP Evidence Required for Project Acquittal and Closure (PDF, 92.51 KB)

It is a program requirement that all financial records related to grant expenditure and acquittal be retained by the committee of the organisation for seven years. If the committee changes, these documents must be forwarded to the new incoming committee.

All applications are assessed on their own merits and each project must be delivered and acquitted in its own right. Waiting for potential future funding for a subsequent stage of works is not an acceptable rationale for delaying submission of progress or completion reporting for projects in previous funding rounds.

Common questions — your obligations

Applications are reviewed for general eligibility and then subject to the assessment process.

Applicants will be formally notified in late November 2020 on whether their application has been successful. It is an applicant’s responsibility to ensure all contact details are up to date. 

Applications will be assessed in two stages.

Stage 1: The CBP team will review whether the organisation and project are eligible.
This includes confirming that:

  • the applicant organisation is eligible to apply
  • the application meets program requirements for commencement, completion and amount of funding requested
  • the application is in the right electorate and is complete, including quotes or an estimate of the project cost
  • the project type is eligible for CBP funding
  • projects located on NSW public school premises are checked by the NSW Department of Education AMU to ensure the project is appropriate and viable.

Stage 2: Applications will be assessed in the NSW electorate where the project is located. Eligible applications will be assessed by the relevant MP and Independent Review Panel members to determine their relative merit against the program criteria.

Recommendations for projects to receive funding will be made on the basis of these assessments.

The Department of Premier and Cabinet works with MPs to finalise the funding recommendations for projects in their respective electorates before they are submitted to the Premier for final approval.

If your application is successful, you will be formally notified in writing.

To receive your grant, you will need to log in to SmartyGrants and fill out and return the online Funding Deed and the EFT Banking Details form.

Once reviewed by the CBP team, a co-signed Funding Deed will be returned to you via email. Funding will be transferred directly to successful applicants with an ABN number. Successful applicants without an ABN number will be required to present an invoice to claim the CBP funding. If this is the case, the CBP team will provide you with clear invoicing instructions.

If your organisation’s details change, or the project contact person changes, notify the CBP team via email at as soon as possible to ensure that the contracting and payment process runs smoothly.

The CBP team will conduct a full compliance history check of approved applications. CBP reserves the right to request any information before the release of funding and closure of the project.

If you are awarded funding under the CBP 2020 grant round, the program may withhold payment of funds if you have any outstanding or incomplete projects from previous CBP rounds. If you are unable to complete previous projects due to circumstances outside of your control, please advise the CBP team in writing so that an exemption can be considered.

If your project is completed before the grant round closing date (12 June 2020), it will not be funded.

If your project starts after the grant round closing date, it can be funded if it is successful.

You should be ready to commence your project or seek planning approval by November 2020.

If planning approval is required and has not been obtained, development consent should be secured by 31 July 2021.

The project should be completed by 31 March 2022.

All recipients of NSW Government funding for infrastructure and capital works must acknowledge the NSW Government. At a minimum, the acknowledgement should be in annual reports, media releases, digital and printed materials, web pages and online documents, advertising, plaques and signs.

For projects that receive grants of more than $100,000, signs must be displayed acknowledging the NSW Government funding.

Refer to the Funding Acknowledgement Guidelines for Recipients of NSW Government Infrastructure Grants.

Organisations should invite the local MP to attend and speak at any launches, openings and media announcements about the CBP-funded project.

All applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application in writing during November 2020. There are no appeals under the CBP program.

A list of all successful applicants will be published on the CBP website.

All correspondence with applicants is via email. Please ensure that your contact details are up to date and correct for each application. To update your details, email

There are around 3000 applications submitted each year. Many worthwhile applications are submitted. However, funding is limited and not all applications are successful.

Due to the high volume, the CBP team is unable to provide individual feedback on each unsuccessful application.

If your application is not successful, it does not mean your application is without merit. CBP is a very competitive grant program where the assessment and recommendation of applications is through a merit selection process.

If you receive a letter of notification indicating that your organisation status or the project scope is ineligible, refer to the ‘Eligible applicants’ or ‘Eligible projects’ sections of this guidelines document for more information.

The NSW Government may provide certain information for reporting and promotional purposes.

This information may include organisation and project name, project description, project location, electorate, amount of the approved grant and organisation contact details. 

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