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Frequently Asked Questions

Resources For Regions - Round Seven  

The main changes in Round Seven include:

  • 24 Local Government Areas (LGA) are guaranteed base funding of $1 million, with the balance of funding weighted to the most mining-affected communities using the LGA mining employment location quotient.
  • Co-contributions are not mandatory, but strongly encouraged.
  • Community programs are now also eligible in addition to infrastructure projects
  • Projects require an alignment with the LGA’s Community Strategic Plans and / or Regional Economic Development Strategies.
  • Applications will be via a single stage process
  • Only Councils or Joint Organisations of Councils are now eligible to apply. Community groups may approach their Council to apply on their behalf for important community projects.

Aligned with the findings of the recent strategic review of the program, several different factors were considered. These included:

  • The Local Government Area (LGA) mining employment location quotient; and
  • Number of active mines in the LGA; and
  • Level of mining activity in the LGA; and
  • Funding previously received under the Resources for Regions program.
     

Up to $50 million is available in Round Seven of Resources for Regions program.

A minimum of $1 million is available in each eligible Local Government Area (LGA). Additional funding will be weighted to the most mining-affected communities using the mining employment location quotient in the relevant LGA.

All eligible Councils will be advised of their funding allocation.

The Location Quotient is a ratio that compares the relative size of an industry within a region to the relative size of that industry within a larger geographical area, such as the state or the whole nation.

Location Quotients are used as an indicator of the relative importance of an industry or sector in a region compared with a reference economy (for example, a region in NSW compared to NSW as a whole) and is a measure of that region’s reliance on an industry or sector.

The Location Quotient is based on place of employment in the ABS Census Place of Work data. This provides information about where people work rather than where they reside.

Applications can be accepted from Councils who are identified as mining impacted in the Guidelines, or relevant Joint Organisations of Councils. There is potential for community organisations to work with councils to apply on their behalf.

The review makes several key recommendations to reshape and refocus the program including:

  • the program objectives should be updated and refined in order to better target the scope of the program
  • applications should link proposed projects to the relevant Local Government Area's (LGA) Community Strategic Plan or relevant NSW Government Regional Plan
  • the scope of eligible projects should be broadened to include both infrastructure and programs
  • each mining-impacted LGA will be eligible to apply for a guaranteed envelope of funding for their region.

Findings of the review can be found here.

Councils are expected to work with their community to identify priority projects and submit applications on behalf of organisations where appropriate. Councils need to be comfortable with entering a funding deed for each project they submit for consideration, as delivery and acquittal of projects will be the responsibility of the Council. Where the Council is not prepared to submit a project, they may be asked to provide justification for this decision.

For a Council to apply on a community group’s behalf, it will need to understand all the project elements and be able to complete every question in the application form. Organisations interested in putting forward a project are encouraged to read the Program Guidelines and approach their local Council very early in the application period. Councils will set their own cut-off dates by when information must be submitted to them. At a minimum, your organisation should provide Council with:

  • information that demonstrates the project meets the requirements of the program guidelines
  • a detailed project budget in the template provided on the Resources for Regions webpage
  • detailed project scope
  • at least one quote (from a tradesperson or qualified contractor) or detailed estimate from a suitably qualified person for each component of the project
  • information on how the project will meet the program objectives of Resources for Regions
  • information on how the project will be operated and/or maintained upon completion.

Submitting the above information to Councils does not guarantee that a Council will submit your project.

If projects are brought forward to a Council by community groups but are not submitted, an independent review process can be requested to ensure Councils have given it appropriate consideration. Community groups can email regionalnsw.business@dpc.nsw.gov.au to ask for a Review Request Form and return it no later than 5pm, 31 July 2020. This will ensure there is adequate time to review the circumstances before the application period closes.
 

A panel will consider each review request against a set of criteria. Panel members may consult with Council staff to obtain further information about the proposed project’s merit and Council’s reasons for not submitting the project. Where a project is found to have all the relevant information and is a high priority for the community, the panel may ask Council to reconsider submitting the project or an alternative outcome may be negotiated.

Both infrastructure projects and community programs are eligible in Round Seven.

Economic infrastructure includes roads, rail, facilities that improve the movement of freight, airports, local water and sewerage projects. Social infrastructure includes recreational facilities, childcare centres and other infrastructure related to the delivery of community services or improved local amenity.

Community programs that support economic diversification initiatives or that deliver wellbeing outcomes for mining affected communities are also eligible.

A full list of project examples is available in the Resources for Regions Program Guidelines which are available on the web page.
 

The minimum grant amount for infrastructure projects is $250,000, and the maximum is the Local Government Area’s total funding allocation.

The minimum grant for community programs is $100,000 and the maximum is $300,000 per program.
 

Applications will open for funding from 9am, 24 June 2020. Applications will close at 12pm 2 September 2020.

Councils are encouraged to work with their local Department of Regional NSW office to develop projects. Applications should then be made through the online portal at https://r4r.smartygrants.com.au/R4R7

For grants up to $1M an application form, project plan and budget template are required.
For grants over $1M an application form and a business case template is required.

No, however applicants are strongly encouraged to provide financial co-contributions, including leveraging funding from other government sources. Co-contribution is not required and will not impact the overall eligibility of the project for funding.

Decisions on uncommitted funding will be made by the Department of Regional NSW on a case by case basis.

Yes, however projects must be located in an eligible Local Government Area(s); or deliver the primary benefits to one or more eligible Local Government Area(s).

Projects must commence within 12 months of execution of funding deed and be completed within three years of funding being awarded.

Equipment and non-fixed infrastructure are eligible for funding but will only be considered if they are a component required for the delivery of the overall project or program detailed in the application. Equipment and non-fixed assets cannot be the sole components of a project or program.

The construction of new, or upgrades to existing, local community infrastructure are both eligible. Upgrades are a major renewal or restoration of existing infrastructure that causes significant change to how the asset looks or is used.

No, a DA is not required. However, applicants are encouraged to submit projects that are well defined, planned and take into consideration any approvals required. As deliverability is a key consideration for assessing projects, if a DA has been submitted or approved for your project, you should include the DA in your submission.

Yes, each eligible Local Government Area can apply for up to $50,000 for the engagement of an external consultant for the development of a business case for a future project. Funding cannot be used to subsidise internal staff costs to undertake this work.

The Department of Regional NSW will assess projects on their eligibility and assessment criteria outlined in the Guidelines. There are four assessment criteria:

  • delivery of outcomes aligned to Resources for Regions objectives;
  • local need;
  • affordability; and
  • deliverability.

Relevant stakeholder may include other NSW and Commonwealth government agencies, local Councils, independent experts and other external parties.

All information submitted by an applicant may be provided confidentially to other organisations for the purposes of eligibility and project assessment. Summary information about the project will be posted on NSW Government websites unless applicants advise that they do not agree to this. Applicants should identify any information submitted which they wish to be considered as confidential, supported by reasons for the request. Except as disclosed, the Department will keep all information confidential and secure.

Any request made under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 for access to an application, including information marked ‘confidential’, will be determined in accordance with the Act.

Costs that are directly related to the project management and other delivery costs of Resources for Regions funded projects may be included in the project budget. Funding for staff costs must be for new positions; or the extension of existing positions that are unfunded. If a program is intended to continue beyond three years, the applicant should provide evidence to demonstrate how the program will be resourced at the end of the funding period.

Refer to the examples of eligible projects in the Resources for Regions Guidelines. If you are still unsure, councils can speak with their allocated Business Development Manager from the Department of Regional NSW or forward your question to regionalnsw.business@dpc.nsw.gov.au

Yes, templates for project plans, budget and business cases are available on the website. A webinar will be held after applications are open and the recording placed on the webpage to help with applications. Local Business Development Manager will also be able to assist councils to develop applications. For a referral please email regionalnsw.business@dpc.nsw.gov.au 

An application form can be downloaded from https://r4r.smartygrants.com.au/R4R7

If the funding requested by a council exceeds the available funding for the Local Government Area, Councils will be required to rank projects as part of the application.

Funding for the delivery of an existing service, program or project is not eligible unless funding is being used to extend an unfunded program or service; or is for a distinct and separate stage to an existing project.

Yes, budgets should be based on substantiated quotes or assumptions with evidence of either uploaded to the application. All project costings for infrastructure will be reviewed by Public Works Advisory in the assessment process. 

Projects can be located on private land but must not be solely for private benefit. The applicant will need to show how the facility will be open to the community.

No, the purchase of land is ineligible for Resources for Regions grant funding.

You will need the landowner to provide consent and demonstrate that the project does not provide exclusive private benefits.

A project will demonstrate public benefit if by delivering the project it will benefit the public generally, or a sufficient section of the public.

GST is not payable on grant payments to local Councils under Resources for Regions because the payments are between government related entities. Therefore, all amounts should be listed as GST exclusive. This also applies to a Joint Organisation of Councils.

However, if Council is applying on behalf of a community group who is not registered for GST the costs should be GST inclusive.

Yes, budgets can include contingency as part of the overall project costs. Up to a total of 20 per cent of the total project cost can be for contingency and other administration costs. Should your project be successful, and the contingency costs included in your budget not used, this amount will be deducted from the final grant payment.

A letter of support from your local Destination NSW network is recommended. Where possible. applications should include input from the Destination NSW Network prior to being submitted.

A letter of support from your Local Lands Council and / or other local Aboriginal Community groups are recommended.

  • costs related to buying or upgrading non–fixed equipment or supplies that are not a critical to the delivery of the overall project or program
  • financing, including debt financing, insurance or rental costs
  • costs relating to depreciation of plant and equipment beyond the life of the project
  • non-project related staff training and development costs
  • operational expenditure, including but not limited to regular repairs and maintenance
  • ongoing / recurrent funding that is required beyond the stated timeframe of the project
  • for infrastructure projects, funding for any ongoing staff or operational costs
  • for community programs, funding for ongoing staff or operational costs beyond the scope and timeframe of the funded project
  • retrospective funding to cover any project component that is already complete before funding is announced

The purchase of vehicles is eligible for project funding if it is a necessary part of the delivery of an eligible program or project (e.g. a bus transporting community members to access a program).

Resources for Regions funding is only available for three years. If the intent is for a program to continue beyond the funding period, you must demonstrate that you can do so independently of Resources for Regions grant funding.

You can use an existing SmartyGrants account to apply under Resources for Regions. If you are applying for a different organisation, you may want to create a second account to ensure that the projects are considered and managed separately.

Yes. However, Resources for Regions funding must not be used for any works that have already been approved and funded in a council budget or forward capital works program. If funding for a project has already been approved from the applicant or another source, the Resources for Regions funding needs to be used for works that are in addition to the scope of works that already have funds committed.

Yes, where council has yet to confirm a funding source.

Yes, if the project is unfunded through any other sources of funding including Section 94 Contributions and Restricted Assets.

As the project already has funding no additional net benefit to NSW will be delivered by receiving Resources for Regions grant money.

Yes, only for stages that are unfunded.

Funding allocations are per Local Government Area.

This is at Council’s discretion.

No.

Yes. Co-contributions are acceptable from any organisation.

One application can include multiple business case projects up to $50,000 per LGA.

Yes.

Up to 30 per cent.

Yes, capped at 20 per cent of the total project costs.

Yes, however they will require a letter of support from the Council where the project will be primarily located.

Yes.

This is for each Council to decide on their approval processes but not a requirement of the application.

Yes, this can include environmental remediation projects

For More Information 

www.nsw.gov.au/resourcesforregions

Email: regionalnsw.business@dpc.nsw.gov.au

Call: 1300 679 673

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