Sustainable Infrastructure Fund – Guidelines

 1. Funding overview

Sustainability Victoria (SV) will fund local governments and Alpine Resort Management Boards to use products made from recycled priority materials. The purpose of the Sustainable Infrastructure Fund (the Fund) is to improve consumer confidence in using products made from recycled materials and the quantity of recycled products being sold in Victoria.

SV is offering grants of between $50,000 and $300,000 each ($1: $1 Co-contribution) to support local governments to increase the use of products made from recycled materials in infrastructure projects.

Funding is available for local government authorities and Alpine Resort Management Boards to:

  • use products made from recycled priority materials in infrastructure projects
  • demonstrate performance of existing product specifications and standards using recycled priority materials
  • utilise innovative technology and processes that allow for the use of recycled priority materials
  • increase consumption of recycled priority materials
  • contribute to Victoria’s transition to a circular economy.

The Fund will support the construction/installation of a new asset or the renewal, expansion or upgrade of existing assets.

Assets can include but are not limited to; roads, footpaths, cycleways, permeable pavements, carparks, drainage fixtures, bridges, buildings, fittings and furniture for parks, open spaces and streetscapes.

Fund Timelines

The Fund involves a contested, merit-based application process with an 8-week open period to submit applications. The Fund will be open for up to three rounds or until the funding is fully subscribed or closed at the discretion of SV.

Note: the program’s merit-criteria, eligibility scope and budget allocation may vary from round to round.

Timelines

Funding round
Open date*
Closing date *
Outcome notification

Round 1

13 August 2020
8 October 2020 Within 60 days from closing date
Round 2
26 October 2020
7 December 2020 Within 60 days from closing date
Round 3
18 January 2021
1 March 2021
Within 60 days from closing date

 *Please note: these timelines are indicative only and may change.

 Applications must be submitted by 3pm on the closing date.

Late applications will not be accepted.

SV funding agreements must be signed within 30 days of notification of outcome.

All projects must be complete within 12 months of signing the SV funding agreement.

2. What are recycled priority materials?

SV will fund projects that increase the use of one or more recycled priority materials. These are materials with specific supply side or demand side barriers that could be overcome with the support of government.

For the Sustainable Infrastructure Fund, recycled priority materials include:

  • glass
  • paper and cardboard
  • plastics
  • rubber.

For more on recycled priority materials, see Section 8: Definitions.

3. Why is the Victorian Government providing this funding?

The Victorian Government is committed to transforming recycling in Victoria, to support the transition to a circular economy. To enable this, there needs to be strong markets for the materials collected and recovered. Victorian local governments are estimated to spend over $8 billion on infrastructure projects over the next three years, presenting a significant opportunity to increase their use of recovered materials. Additionally, Victorian councils are responsible for more than $110 billion in community infrastructure and assets such as roads, bridges, town halls, recreation and leisure facilities, drains, libraries and parks.

Common barriers to markets using recycled materials include:

  • limited understanding on the performance of products using recycled content
  • time, money and staff resources required to trial products
  • limited awareness of available recycled materials, their applications and durability
  • low value materials competing with conventional materials
  • procurement policies and processes.

The Fund aims to overcome some of the above barriers by:

  • providing financial support to use products that meet existing standards and specifications
  • covering the cost gap of using a product with recycled content versus a product with virgin materials
  • increasing knowledge on products and materials successfully used in this program.

The grants are part of SV’s $2.2 million Accelerating Public Procurement program and aligns with the Victorian Government’s response to current issues in the recycling sector outlined in the Recycling Industry Strategic Plan (RISP) and the Recycling Victoria Policy. The RISP sets out the pathway to a safe, resilient and efficient recycling system in Victoria. It highlights the need for government to stimulate markets for the use of recovered resources, increase jobs, develop quality products for end markets and increase investment and procurement of products made from recycled priority materials.

The Recycling Victoria Infrastructure Plan provides the context and long-term vision for improving Victoria’s waste and resource recovery infrastructure system; stimulating and supporting markets for products made from recovered resources is critical to achieving this vision.

4. About the Sustainable Infrastructure funding

4.1 Compliance criteria

Applicants must meet all the following compliance criteria to be considered for progression to Eligibility. These will be assessed on a pass/fail basis.

Applicants must:

  • Lodge their application in the required format by the closing time and date (in accordance with the Terms of Participation in Grant Programs);
  • Have the authority to make the application on behalf of the applicant (Applicant Declaration); and
  • Agree to comply with SV’s:
    • Funding Agreement Terms and Conditions; and
    • Terms of Participation in Grant Programs.

4.2 Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for funding applicants must:

  • Use at least one of the following recycled priority materials:
    • glass
    • paper and cardboard
    • plastics (flexible and rigid)
    • rubber.
  • be a Victorian local government authority or Alpine Resort Management Board
  • have a current Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • have project activities take place in Victoria
  • meet the minimum $1: $1 co-contribution requirements of the Fund (see section 8: Definitions)
  • complete the project within 12 months of signing the SV funding agreement.

4.3 Funding

A financial co-contribution will be sought at a ratio of $1: $1.

Up to 20% of the co-contribution can be “in-kind” (see section 8: Definitions for Co-contribution and In-kind contribution).

The amount requested from SV can be between a minimum $50,000 and up to a maximum $300,000 excluding GST, and can be used for the following project costs:

  • product or material procurement
  • installation costs (for example machinery hire, additional external labour resources).

The funding must be used to support the construction/installation of a new asset or a renewal, expansion or upgrade of existing assets. Assets can include but are not limited to; roads, footpaths, cycleways, permeable pavements, carparks, drainage fixtures, bridges, buildings, fittings and furniture for parks, open spaces and streetscapes.

What will not be considered for funding?

Project budget components which will not be funded:

  • request for retrospective funding, where projects are already complete, or the activity to be funded by SV has already commenced (i.e. purchased materials) prior to signing a funding agreement with SV. (Note: a defined component or next stage of a current, longer term project would be eligible for funding);
  • salaries and project management for internal staff (greater than the 20% allowed for in-kind contributions);
  • lease or purchase of land;
  • permit, licensing and approval costs;
  • purchase of vehicles (e.g. front-end loaders, forklifts);
  • travel, conferences and other educational activities;
  • research and development; including life-cycle analysis
  • marketing, advertising and promotional costs;
  • ongoing operational costs such as, but not limited to, electricity, water and other utilities;
  • repair of facilities damaged by vandalism, fire or other natural disasters where damage should be covered by insurance;
  • capital works project costs not directly related to the use of recycled priority materials;
  • projects being undertaken to comply with regulation; and
  • projects that don’t meet local government requirements.

4.4 What is required of successful applicants?

Successful applicants must:

  • sign the SV funding agreement within 30 days of notification;
  • submit a project plan for approval by SV as a milestone funding agreement;
  • deliver the project as outlined in the application and agreed project plan;
  • facilitate progress meetings with SV;
  • participate in activities with SV to distribute the findings to broader stakeholders (e.g. government and industry) during and after the SV funding agreement period;
  • acknowledge that SV has contributed funding in all communications related to the sustainable infrastructure project;
  • provide SV with case studies and data for general publication; and
  • install capital works signage, acknowledging SV has contributed funding; this is required for projects receiving over $250,000. Applicants should consider this in your proposed budget.

5. Assessment criteria

5.1 How will applications be assessed?

Weighted merit criteria

Eligible applications will be assessed using a contested process against the following merit criteria:

Criteria 
Weighting 
Description
What 50%
Describe what you are going to do and how the project aligns with the outcomes of the Fund:
  • use products made from recycled priority materials in infrastructure projects
  • demonstrate performance of existing product specifications and standards using recycled priority materials
  • utilise innovative technology and processes that allow for the use of recycled priority materials
  • increase consumption of recycled priority materials.
Who 10%
Describe your ability to deliver the project, including capability (skills) and capacity (resources).
Why 15%
Describe why the project is needed, including:
  • what benefits the project will have for the applicant, the broader market and the environment
  • how this project will contribute to Victoria’s transition to a circular economy and align with Victorian Government policy.
How 25%
Demonstrate how the project is commercial, feasible and capable of being delivered.

SV may overlay rankings to achieve an overall diversity of projects:

  • range of products containing recycled priority materials;
  • asset type; and
  • geographical spread across Victorian regions.

5.2 Due Diligence

A risk-based approach will be used to assess the applicant’s compliance across a range of performance measures. This assessment may include project participants (see section 8: Definitions).

Applicants (and, if applicable, project participants) must:

  • have had no environmental or safety breaches (see section 8: Definitions) in the last five years, or if there was a breach, SV will use a risk-based approach to determine the level of risk the applicant’s breach poses to the recommendation of funding. Assessment will include but not be limited to SV’s consideration of:
    • the seriousness of the breach;
    • whether the breach has been resolved to the satisfaction of the relevant enforcement agency, or the applicant can demonstrate it is working effectively to resolve the breach;
    • the efforts made by the applicant including implementation of management systems, to ensure no further breaches occur, and/or;
    • whether, since the breach, the applicant has had a satisfactory level of compliance with environmental and safety laws (see section 8: Definitions).
  • have not been the subject of an Enforceable Undertaking or successful litigation by the Fair Work Ombudsman for a breach of the Fair Work Act 2009 or a fair work instrument within the last five years
  • have adequate insurance; and
  • manage any conflicts adequately.

6. How to apply

Follow these steps:

  1. Make sure your organisation is eligible to apply (see Section 4.2: Eligibility Criteria)
  2. Check the merit of your project (see Section 5.1: How will applications be assessed)
  3. Read the terms and conditions of SV’s funding agreement and ensure you can meet them. Acceptance of these terms is required for grant funding to be provided.
  4. Read and understand the Terms of Participation in Grant Programs
  5. Register or login to start your Sustainable Infrastructure Fund application.
    Please note: you must create an account before you can start and submit an online application.

Submitting your application:

  • Applications can only be submitted online (unless otherwise agreed or at SV’s discretion).
  • Applications must be submitted by 3pm on the closing date; SV’s grant portal will not accept late applications, except under exceptional circumstances, please refer to Terms of Participation in Grant Programs.
  • It is highly recommended that you click Save Progress every 10–15 minutes when filling out the online application form. Please note: you will be logged out of your application if 60 minutes has elapsed and you have not saved your progress or navigated between pages. If logged out, you will lose any changes made that have not been saved.
  • If you are attaching files, allow sufficient time for the file to be uploaded to the page. You should not navigate to another page until the document has been successfully attached, otherwise the file upload will be cancelled. The maximum file limit is 25MB.
  • You cannot make any changes to your application after it has been submitted.
  • You will receive a confirmation message and email when the application is submitted.
  • If you experience difficulties submitting your online application, please contact SV on 1300 363 744 and ask to speak to a grant support representative.
  • SV will update applicants on the progress of their applications as much as possible but cannot give a definite approval/announcement date.
    We thank you for your cooperation and understanding on this and will endeavour to advise you if we experience any unforeseen delays.

7. For more information

Email grants.enquiries@sustainability.vic.gov.au with the subject line 'Sustainable Infrastructure Fund'.

The Fund will be open for a total of three rounds or until the funding is fully subscribed or closed at the discretion of SV.

Given the contested nature of the program, SV is unable to provide advice on the potential merit of your application.

8. Definitions

Defined terms used in this guideline.

8.1 Recycled priority materials

Materials with specific supply side or demand side barriers that could be overcome with the support of government. For the Sustainable Infrastructure Fund, recycled priority materials are listed below.

Glass: Glass includes the following categories:

  • Post-consumer glass: Predominately packaging waste (containers) and to a much lesser degree flat glass (windows) and other sources.
  • Glass cullet: Glass recovered, sorted and crushed and suitable for recycling through glass manufacturing.
  • Glass fines: Glass recovered from the waste stream but unsuitable for use in glass manufacture due to the particles being too small and/or mixed with other material streams.

Paper and cardboard: Post-consumer kerbside and/or commercial mix of fibre-based packaging and non-packaging papers made from wood. Includes materials such as magazine, newspaper, printing and writing paper, corrugated cardboard and other fibre-based formats. Materials from recovered paper and cardboard are typically reused to manufacture recycled paper, packaging material and boxes.

Plastics (flexible and rigid): Plastic products can be broadly grouped as either flexible or rigid. The major plastic polymer types are identified by a Plastics Identification Code number from 1 to 7.

  • Flexible plastic products can be used for both packaging and non-packaging items (such as bags, pouches, sachets, wraps) and flexible polymer wraps used in logistics (such as pallet wrap, silage wrap or wheat storage bags).
  • Rigid plastics are found in products such as bottles, containers, toys and building products like pipes.

Rubber: Rubber (predominantly tyres) is a manufactured product and varies in composition depending on manufacturer and tyre type. There are three main tyre types used for vehicles – passenger (cars, motorcycles, and caravans), truck (light and heavy vehicles, buses) and offroad (agricultural, mining, construction and demolition). Most tyres contain approximately one-half rubber, one-fifth carbon black and one-fifth steel, with minor proportions of textiles and other additives.

8.2 Other definitions

Assets: Eligible assets can include but are not limited to; roads, footpaths, cycleways, permeable pavements, carparks, drainage fixtures, bridges, buildings, fittings and furniture for parks, open spaces and streetscapes.

Circular economy: A circular economy is where waste is minimised, products and materials are kept circulating at their greatest value for as long as possible. Four outcomes of a circular economy are:

  • reducing the use of virgin or non-renewable resources
  • maintaining the highest value of materials and products
  • transforming waste into reusable materials
  • reducing the environmental impact of production and consumption.

Co-contributions:

Financial (cash) co-contribution requirements: A financial co-contribution will be sought at a ratio of 1:1. Up to 20 per cent of the co-contribution can be “in-kind” (see definition below).

Financial co-contributions may include:

  • any costs associated with the construction/installation of a new asset or a renewal, expansion or upgrade of existing assets
  • procurement of materials and/ or products
  • funding for infrastructure activities from other government sources, including federal and state.

In-kind contribution: In-kind is an activity other than financial (cash) support that is contributed towards the infrastructure project. The maximum in-kind contribution for this grant is 20% of the total 1:1 contribution.

In-kind contribution may include:

  • salaries paid by the applicants for their employees' time allocated or directly related to delivering the project
  • donated goods or services related to the infrastructure project.

Ineligible in-kind contributions include:

  • operating expenses not directly associated with delivering the project
  • opportunity costs such as staff ‘downtime’ during the installation of equipment or implementation of activities.

Environmental or safety breach: Any past or current prosecution, reportable incident, investigation, notice, penalty, warning, regulatory intervention or enforcement action from the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) or Victorian WorkCover Authority (WorkSafe) or failure to comply with any environmental and safety laws.

Environmental and safety laws: The Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004, Environment Protection Act 1970 or any other legislation, regulation order, statute, by-law, ordinance or any other legislative or regulatory measure, code, standard or requirement relating to the protection and safety of persons or property or which regulate the environment including laws relating to land use planning, pollution of air or water, soil or groundwater contamination, chemicals, waste, the use, handling, storage or transport of dangerous goods or substances, greenhouse gas emissions, carbon trading or any other aspect of protection of the environment.

Recycled content: Waste material that has been recovered, reprocessed and recycled in the creation of a new product. Waste materials include those:

  • diverted from the waste stream during a manufacturing process
  • or after use by households, businesses or industrial facilities.

Recycled product: Any product that incorporates a percentage of waste material that has been recovered, reprocessed and recycled (see Recycled content).

Related persons: Related persons means a director, officer, employee, agent, board member or contractor of the applicant or a Related entity.

Pre-consumer (post-industrial) recycled materials: Material diverted from the waste stream during a manufacturing process. Excluded is reutilisation of materials such as rework, regrind or scrap generated in a process and capable of being reclaimed within the same process that generated it.

Post-consumer recycled materials: Material generated by households or by commercial, industrial and institutional facilities in their role as end-users of the product, which can no longer be used for its intended purpose.

Project participants: Any organisation assisting in the delivery of the applicants infrastructure project; these may include product suppliers, consultants, contractors and major sub-contractors.