Frequently Asked Questions

Resources For Regions - Round Eight

What are the main features of Resources for Regions Round Eight?

The main features in Round Eight 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 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 eligible to apply. Community groups may approach their council to apply on their behalf for important community projects.
Who administers the Resources for Regions Program?

The Resources for Regions Program is administered by the Department of Regional NSW.

How much funding is available for each Local Government Area?

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.
 

How will local communities know how much funding is allocated to their region?

All eligible councils will be advised of their funding allocation.

What does Location Quotient mean?

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.

Who is eligible to apply for Resources for Regions funding?

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

What were the findings of the 2019 Resources for Regions Strategic review?

The review made 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 community programs
  • each mining-impacted LGA will be eligible to apply for a guaranteed envelope of funding for their region.

Read more on the findings of the review.

Are Councils able to decline to submit a project from a community organisation?

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.

What should I prepare if council is applying for a project on my organisation’s behalf?

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, including eligibility requirements

• 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.

I have a project with high community support and council has indicated that it will not submit it. What are my options?

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@regional.nsw.gov.au to ask for a Review Request Form and return it no later than 5pm, 21 June 2021. 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.
 

What kinds of projects are eligible?

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

What is the minimum and maximum grant amount available?

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. The minimum for business cases is $50,000, and the maximum is $200,000.

When do applications open and close?

Round Eight opens on Monday 17 May 2021 and closes at 12pm on Monday, 12 July 2021 (AEST).

When will applications be assessed?

Applications will be assessed between 12 July 2021 and 6 September 2021.

When will successful applications be announced?

Applications will be announced from late September 2021.

How can you apply for Resources for Regions?

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/R4R8

What information do I need to provide?

To apply you will need to describe all the project elements and provide the following:

  • Completed application form
  • Completed project plan template
  • Completed budget template (with evidence of estimated costs)
  • Business case in DRNSW template for funding requests over $5 million
  • Landowners consent (if applicable)
  • Evidence of $20 million Public Liability Insurance.
Do I have to use the project plan, business case and/or budget templates provided?

Yes, it is a requirement that you use the business case, project plan and budget templates provided.

Are co-contributions mandatory?

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.

What will happen if a Local Government Area funding allocation is not exhausted in this Round?

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

Can councils apply for more funding than their allocation?

Yes, councils are encouraged to apply for more than their funding allocation and rank their projects in order of priority

Can a project cross Local Government Areas?

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). 

Can I submit a single application for a project that has works across multiple sites in the one Local Government Area?

Yes. When two or more projects are related (have a similar scope of works at one or more sites) they may be bundled together. For example, lights on two or more sports fields may be packaged together in one application. You should select one primary location site in the application and specify the other proposed locations and the scope of works to be completed at each site. The minimum combined grant amount needs to be $250,000 for Infrastructure projects, $100,000 for Program projects and $50,000 for Business cases.

Can a large project be broken into multiple parts and submitted as separate applications?

Yes, but each application must have a very clear and defined project description and scope of activities. Each application should be able to be differentiated easily by the community and should be able to be delivered independently of other components.

It is possible that only some components/stages of projects will be awarded funding and these components/stages cannot be swapped or changed after the assessment process.

If an application is successful when must the project commence?

Projects must commence within 6 months of funding being announced and be completed within 2 years of funding being awarded.

Are equipment and other non-fixed infrastructure eligible?

Equipment and non-fixed infrastructure are eligible for funding but will only be considered if they are an essential 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.

Will the funding support upgrades to local infrastructure or must it be a new build?

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.

What is meant by “upgrade”?

An “upgrade” is a major renewal or restoration of existing infrastructure. “Major” means several activities are carried out that result in significant changes to the asset. For example, replacement of multiple components such as roofs, walls, floor coverings and external landscapes, or a simple toilet block transformed to an amenity block with accessible facilities, including change rooms. Infrastructure upgrades are eligible.

What is meant by “maintenance”?

“Maintenance” refers to routine operational activities undertaken to sustain an existing asset in a functional state. For example, changing light fixtures, cleaning carpets, or testing and tagging of equipment.

Maintenance activities are not eligible on their own, however minor maintenance activities can be incorporated into a major upgrade or renewal of an existing asset.

 

What is meant by “contingency”?

“Contingency” is defined as something that may or may not occur but must be dealt with if it does. They are often known unknowns. Should your project be successful, and the contingency costs included in your budget not be used, this amount will be deducted from the final grant payment.

Do infrastructure projects require development approval (DA) before applications can be submitted?

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.

Can funding be sought for business case development?

Yes, each eligible Local Government Area can apply for up to $200,000 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, to fund core council plans or to pay for meeting and catering costs.

How will projects be assessed?

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
  • deliverability.

A list of suitable projects will be submitted to the Deputy Premier for final funding decision and approval.

Who will be consulted during the assessment?

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

How will information in applications be handled?

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.

Can I apply for funds to cover staffing costs associated with a Resources for Regions community program?

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 two years, the applicant should provide evidence to demonstrate how the program will be resourced at the end of the funding period.

What should an applicant do if they are unsure if a project is eligible?

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@regional.nsw.gov.au

Is there support available for completing an application?

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 Managers will also be able to assist councils to develop applications. For a referral please email regionalnsw.business@regional.nsw.gov.au

Is there a template of the application form available to work from offline?

An application form can be downloaded from https://r4r.smartygrants.com.au/R4R8

 

Are programs that are already in progress eligible?

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.

Are quotes required to verify costs in the budget?

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. 

Can a project be located on private land?

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 and how the project will benefit the public, or a sufficient section of the public.

Is the purchase of land eligible?

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

If I am applying for a project on private land managed by a not-for-profit, who can provide consent?

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

How is Public Benefit defined?

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

Should my grant request include GST?

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.

Can project budgets include a contingency allocation?

Yes. Budgets can include up to a total of 20 per cent of the total project cost for combined contingency, project management and 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.

What makes a project viable?

A project will be considered viable if it:

  • has a realistic budget based on substantiated quotes or assumptions
  • is cost-effective and represents value for money
  • can be delivered within two years
  • demonstrates access to the necessary expertise and support to deliver the project
  • project management and administration costs for projects do not exceed a maximum of 20 per cent of the total project cost
  • does not require ongoing funding from the NSW Government
  • demonstrates how it will be operated and/or maintained when the project is completed (where applicable).
How are the outcomes of a project measured?

As part of the application process you are required to identify how you will report on the delivery against the projects expected outcomes, this will be incorporated into your Funding Deed. The information will also form part of the assessment process. For further information about reporting outcomes see the Outcomes Reporting Guidance Note at nsw.gov.au/resourcesforregions/.

The project I submitted has received funding elsewhere. Can I substitute another project?

If your project receives funding elsewhere once the application period has closed, you cannot swap in another project. All projects must be submitted by the close of Round Eight at 12pm on Monday 12 July 2021.

You must notify the Department of Regional NSW in writing as soon as possible if a project is funded elsewhere. The project can then be withdrawn from assessment to avoid it being considered against other projects submitted in the same Local Government Area.

Councils are encouraged to apply for projects above their funding allocation.

If after the assessment period, the Local Government Area’s funding allocation has not been fully exhausted, options to utilise these funds in future rounds or for other projects will be assessed on a case by case basis.

Do applications for tourism projects require support from Destination NSW?

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.

Do applications for indigenous projects require support from Local Lands Council?

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

What project costs are ineligible?

Ineligible project costs include:

  • costs related to buying or upgrading non–fixed equipment or supplies, unless considered essential to program delivery and are incidental costs to the overall project budget
  • 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
  • costs relating to meetings, including catering.
Is the purchase of a vehicle (e.g. bus or a van) eligible for funding?

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).

Does a two-year project need to prove it has ongoing viability beyond this period?

Resources for Regions funding is only available for two 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.

Can I use an existing SmartyGrants account to apply?

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.

If Council has a project that is in the capital works program but needs funding, is this eligible?

Yes, where council has yet to confirm a funding source in forward years budgets. Works that are listed in a council’s current year capital works budget are not eligible.

If a project is identified as a future capital works project is in the Long-Term Financial Plan can Resources for Regions funding be used to deliver the project sooner?

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

Can applications be for a project that is to be staged under a forward capital works program?

Yes, only for stages that are unfunded.

Do Joint Organisation of Councils have an allocation of funding?

Funding allocations are per Local Government Area.

What community engagement do council’s need to undertake for this Program?

This is at council’s discretion.

Is a Cost Benefit Ratio required for projects?

No.

Can councils make a contribution to an application made by a Joint Organisation of Councils?

Yes. Co-contributions are acceptable from any organisation.

How many applications can be made for business cases?

Councils can submit multiple business case projects between $50,000 and up to $200,000 per LGA.

Can applicants select their own consultants for Business Case projects?

Yes, however they cannot be internal staff.

How much of an LGA’s allocation can be used for community program applications?

Up to 30 per cent.

Can Community Program projects include project management costs?

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

Can a Joint Organisation of Councils apply for funding allocated to a LGA?

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

Can applicants nominate different contacts for separate applications?

Yes.

Do applications require a formal resolution of council?

Each council can decide on their approval processes, this is not a requirement of the application.

Can environmental projects be included under the infrastructure category?

Yes, this can include environmental remediation projects.

If my project is successful, how do I acknowledge financial support from the NSW Government

All recipients of NSW Government funding should acknowledge financial support received from the Resources for Regions Program Round Eight as per the Funding Acknowledgement Guidelines available at https://www.nsw.gov.au/nsw-government-communications/branding

Do applications for tourist signage require approval from Destination NSW?

Tourist signs in NSW are managed by the Tourist Attraction Signposting Assessment Committee (TASAC) through Destination NSW. Projects seeking funding for tourist attraction signposting need to follow the requirements set out by TASAC before funding can be issued under the Resources for Regions. You do not need to have an approval for signage in place before submitting your application but will need to demonstrate permission has been granted before final milestone payments are processed. Further information about tourist signage is available at www.destinationnsw.com.au/

Can ineligible projects be referred to a more appropriate funding program?

Yes. Projects that are more suitable for other NSW Government programs may be referred to those programs by the Department of Regional NSW. Applications that are referred will be subject to the full assessment criteria of the other NSW Government program to which they are referred. In this case, you may need to update your application to meet the criteria of the referred program. The referred application will not be given preferential treatment over any other application but will be considered on merit in accordance with the guidelines for that particular program.

For more information 

www.nsw.gov.au/resourcesforregions

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

Call: 1300 679 673

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