On this page
This information bulletin provides information not covered specifically in the Investment Support Grant – Packaging Round 2.
We will update this page as we receive new questions.
We held an information session to present an overview of the fund and application criteria.
This video shows a PowerPoint Presentation, with speakers appearing via video to the side of the screen.
[Opening visual of slide with text saying ‘Investment Support Grants – Packaging (ISGP) Round 2’, ‘Information Session’, ’8 September 2021’, ‘Sustainability Victoria’, with an image of a large row of empty plastic bottles.]
[The visuals during this webinar are of a PowerPoint presentation being played on screen, with each speaker appearing in turn to the right of screen.]
Good morning everyone, and welcome to the Investment Support Grants – Packaging Round 2, or otherwise known as ISGP. So I’d just firstly like to welcome you all here today for taking the time to join us.
Firstly, I would like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which I am meeting you from today, the Boon Wurrung people. I pay my respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and also the Aboriginal Elders of other communities who may be here with us today.
So my name is Ciaran O’Connor, and I’m the Investment Lead in the Infrastructure Investment Team here at Sustainability Victoria, and it is our team who will deliver this program focusing on packaging waste. So joining me today is my colleague Izo Lourival, and he will also co-present, and also with us today is Nick Adams, our communications partner who will produce and also ask questions at the end of me that have not been answered throughout the Information Session, and also through the commonly asked questions towards the end.
So without further ado, I’ll pass over to my colleague Izo Lourival, who will give you the agenda for today’s Information Session, and also give a brief overview of Sustainability Victoria itself and the State Government’s Recycling Victoria Policy to date. Over to you Izo.
Thanks very much Ciaran. I would also like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which I’m meeting from today, the Wurundjeri peoples of the Kulin nation, and would like to pay my respects to the Elders past, present and emerging, and any Elders who may be here with us today.
So today’s session is being recorded, and will be shared publicly on the Grants page, the ISGP Grants page when it’s available. Now I’ll just go through the agenda for today’s session. So firstly, we’ll go through just a quick overview of Sustainability Victoria and the Recycling Victoria policy. We’ll then go through the Investment Support Grant program in detail. We’ll explain how to submit an application, and also provide you with some application tips. We’ll then cover some generally asked questions, so commonly asked questions that we get for grant funding programs and ones we think you might have specifically about this program, and then at the very end we’ll also have time for your own questions. So please ask your questions via the Q&A function, and we’ll try to get through to as many as we can today, particularly the most popular ones. So do use that like function on the questions as well if you want that question answered. Next slide please.
Sorry. And I should note that any questions that we don’t get to today, we will take them on notice and we’ll get them answered following the event via an online Information Bulletin.
So Sustainability Victoria, we have a clear purpose. Our vision is to partner with all Victorians to deliver a circular net zero emissions economy. So as such, most of our work focuses on two important strategic priorities. That is climate change and resource recovery. Next slide.
So we delivered this vision using three strategic goals and pillars. So firstly, attracting and accelerating infrastructure investment and innovation – so this program very much fits in within that pillar – leading effective change at scale through behaviour change and education, and also facilitating direct action at neighbourhood, regional and state levels. In terms of the sustainability development goals, so the SDGs, our work contributes directly to these eight goals up on the slide.
Next slide please Nick.
So specifically our work in resource recovery is guided by the Recycling Victoria Policy, which is a fairly new policy. It was released in February last year, so 2020, and it’s our circular economy policy and ten year action plan, and it also includes over $300 million of Government funding and investment really to transform the waste resource recovery and recycling sector in Victoria. It’s to drive investment and innovation in the sector, generating jobs and reducing emissions at the same time, and really signals to industry that we’re open for business, an investment across the waste and resource recovery sector.
So one of the key priority objectives for the plan is to divert 83% of waste from landfill by 2030. So this program very much fits in within that objective. And just to give you a bit of an idea, Recycling Victoria programs to date have already led to over 101 projects being recommended, with an expected landfill reduction of 270,000 tonnes. So as you can see, we’re well on our way.
I will now pass you back to Ciaran to run through the details of the Investment Support Grants – Packaging program which you are here to hear more about today. Over to you Ciaran.
Thank you Izo. Next slide. So the next few slides I will talk to the overview of the ISGP program. So who is it aimed at? It is aimed at supporting small and medium enterprises, not for profits, and social enterprises, for them to pursue packaging waste reduction or recovery opportunities. So we’re looking to support smaller projects and businesses that may not be covered by other programs who are looking to reduce their packaging waste.
The focus is on purchasing of equipment and infrastructure to enable and accelerate the diversion of the packaging waste from landfill. So again, we’re aiming this, and the intent of the program, is quick turnaround projects that can be implemented in a short period of time. The materials we’re focusing on are plastic, cardboard and paper and glass. So they make up quite a majority of packaging, apart from metal. So metal is excluded from this program, and that’s due to the mature market already available for recovering of this waste stream.
Now some of you who are here today might be well aware of Round 1 of the ISGP, and there is some key changes I just wanted to cover off. The main one being that for Round 2, we’re moving to a contested round. So what that means is that your projects will be assessed and ranked accordingly against each other, and because it’s a contested round, it has an opening and closing. So it’s open for five weeks and will close at the end of the month, where in Round 1 it was a rolling grant. And lastly, grants will be available from $10,000 to $50,000. So next slide please.
So what is the focus of the program, the intent? So your projects, being the applicants, must meet one or more of the following objectives. So reduce generation of packaging waste – an example here would be converting from a non-recyclable packaging you may use to a recycled type – increase or improve recovery of packaging waste, manufacture packaging using recovered materials, so basically building up that recycled content in packaging you may produce, and lastly, manufacturing new products using packaging waste. Now you see an asterisk here, and there’s a good reason for this. This fund will preference projects that create new products using packaging waste.
So as Izo alluded to earlier, one of the key targets of the Recycling Victoria policy is to increase our recovery to 80%. But we need to ensure there is an end demand for these recovered materials, and this is where creating new products from packaging waste play a vital role. Next slide please.
So what are the outcomes we’re trying to achieve with this program? So we’re looking to achieve 6,000 tonnes of packaging waste diverted away from landfill, and an expected 30 new full-time equivalent jobs, and also at least 50% of people who are awarded funding are creating new products using packaging waste. Now in your application, you will be asked to give the expected tonnages your project will deal with, and also the expected FTEs it will create. Next slide please.
So how much money is in the pot? So the total funding available for this program is $480,000. As spoken previously, grants are available between $10,000 and $50,000 per project. Now applicants must contribute $1 for every $1 funded, so on a 50/50 basis. This co-contribution can be either financial, so cash, or in-kind. Now it is slightly different for each cohort. So for SMEs, at least 75% of the co-contribution must be in cash, and for not for profits and social enterprises, this needs to be 50%. So an example here would be if your grant request of Sustainability Victoria is $10,000, if you’re an SME, you will need to provide $7,500 in cash and $2,500 can be in‑kind. For the same grant request of a not for profit or a social enterprise, your in cash co‑contribution would need to be $5,000, and then the other $5,000 can be in-kind.
So what do we mean by in-kind? In-kind contributions generally are your own labour, so staff time to manage the project, or internal resources you need to implement the project, installation costs for example if it’s a capital project. Time spent by volunteers on the project will be considered in-kind, or donated goods and services directly related to the project again would be another example of in-kind. Next slide please.
So now we move over to who we will fund, what we’re looking to fund, and also who we will not fund and what project costs will not be funded. Now firstly I will say there’s quite a bit of information in the following slides, and don’t worry if you miss some of it. It’s all available on our website under the guidelines for this program.
So the eligible organisations again are small to medium enterprises – so that’s under 200 full‑time equivalent employees – not for profits and social enterprises. Applicants must have a current ABN, and must have been operating for a minimum of 12 months by the application closing date. So with the application closing date at the end of the month, you need to be operating as of September last year. You will need to meet or exceed the minimum co‑contribution requirements as spoken about previously, and you also need to agree to comply with the terms and participation of the grant program and also comply with our funding terms and conditions. And both of these again are available on our website for you to read through. Next slide please.
So what will we fund? Costs supported are capital purchases, so typically including infrastructure or equipment for you to implement your project, and expenditure items, including other capital purchases that are directly related to the project. An example here would be retooling equipment that would enable you to bring more recovered packaging waste into your manufacturing, or if you were looking to expand operations to increase capacity for waste packaging.
So projects that receive funding must deliver on one or more of the fund objectives that we talked about before. So there was four of them. So you will need to meet one or more of them objectives. You need to divert or recover at least one of the material streams. So that again is plastics, paper/cardboard or glass from landfill. You need to be located or service Victoria. You also need to meet any regulatory or planning requirements that your project would have, and you need to complete the project within 12 months of signing of the contract itself. Next slide please.
So what kind of projects are we not looking to fund? So ones that do not focus on at least one of the fund objectives obviously. Projects that intend to operate outside of Victoria, and also source over 50% of waste from outside of Victoria will not be eligible. Obviously we’re looking to fund Victorian projects to see outcomes for Victoria. Projects that use native forestry materials would not be eligible, and any projects that have received funding or support from other sources – so if you’ve received a grant from another organisation for this same project – you would not be eligible from SV for funding. And ones that do not meet regulatory or planning requirements, or are being undertaken to comply with a regulatory notice.
The next one is a crucial one, and it’s one that comes up time and time again. Excuse me. I’m going to take a drink of water.
Sorry about that. So the next one is one that comes up time and time again, but it is crucial. So SV cannot fund for any retrospective projects. And by that we mean any project that has been completed or has commenced prior to signing a funding agreement with SV will not be funded. Also if your project focuses on metal as the major recovered material, it would not be eligible. Now that’s not to say if you are doing a project that is focusing on recovering let’s say three material streams, and metals is minor, it would be eligible. And lastly, we will not fund projects that do not demonstrate good value for money. Next slide please.
So costs that are not supported by this funding. And this goes back to we’re looking to fund quick turnaround projects that are more of that capital style in nature. So for that reason, RD&D is not eligible, so research, development and demonstration. Any permit, licensing and approval costs or routine works, repairs of facilities damaged by vandalism, fire or other natural disasters, or any business as usual costs, so like standard salaries or any utility costs, any leasing or purchasing of land or vehicles would not be applicable. And then any project management, consultancy costs, marketing costs, all of this is not eligible for this funding. So they’re just the ones I will highlight for now. Or any contingency costs as well.
So now we move on to the assessment criteria. So this is what all applicants will be assessed against if they choose to put in an application, which we hope you do. So we have the what, the how and the who. And you can see the weighting criteria for each one, so the what being the crucial one. So with the what, what will your project actually do and how will it deliver on one or more of the grant objectives? The how, how will the project be delivered? And then the who, who will actually deliver the project? Now I’ll go into each one in a bit more detail. Next slide please.
So the what. As discussed already, it’s 70% weighting. So what is your proposed project, and what are you actually going to do? Actually, firstly I should say for all of the criteria and your application form, you will have some free text to describe your project. It is limited to 200 words, and that is kind of a good reason. We would like you to be short and concise and to the point, and dot points are okay.
So back to the what. So what are you actually going to do, and crucially, how does the project deliver on the purpose of the fund on one or more of the desired objectives? So you will be asked to tick which one of the objectives your project alludes to, and if it is more than one, please click it. Also you will be asked to describe how it meets that objective. Then we move on to you will be asked to identify the type, the volume and the source of the packaging waste. So an example here would be if you were using recovered plastic milk bottles, the source of that waste would be the milk bottle. The type would be the polymer type. So generally that would be type two, HDPE. You would be asked for that information. And the expected tonnages your project will deal with.
And then also you’d be asked on what materials your project focuses on, and then that goes back to the ones we discussed already. And then lastly under the what, you will be asked why is this level of funding required? So why do you actually need this funding for this project to go ahead? Reasons here would be it does not fit inside of your business’s internal rate of return without the funding, you don’t have the cashflow presently available to undertake this project, or another reason would be if you did not get the funding, it would not be a priority. So we will ask for them details. So that’s the what. Next section please.
So then we move on to the who. So who will actually deliver this project? What are their responsibilities to help deliver this project? And then what is their capability and experience to deliver this project? Have they experience in delivering projects like this in the past? Have they worked with the material streams you’re looking to target? This is where you would answer them questions.
Then we have the how. So how will this project be delivered? Are you including realistic and achievable milestones? Do you have a project plan? And if you do, please upload it. So you do have the option to upload some documents.
Then risk. Have you thought of any risks to the project and its successful implementation, and if so, how will you mitigate them risks? Again, if you have a risk register – and this is something you do for any project – you can upload that, but otherwise you can free type it in what the risks are and how you see to mitigate them. You’ll also be asked around your site. So are you the owner? Are you the leaseholder? Do you have permission to undertake these activities if you’re not the owner? And any permits you need or approvals – and that’s going back to do you need council approval for the new project, or any EPA approvals, and if you do, have you started to undertake them, and do they have any bearing on implementing the project within the timeframe?
Lastly under the how, we have a project evaluation, and that’s basically what monitoring and evaluation processes have you put in place again to make sure the project can be successfully implemented in the short period of time? Next slide please.
So now we move on to the key dates for this actual program. So applications are open, as you probably are all well aware, who’s joined today. Applications will close at the end of the month, so on the 30th
of September at 11:59. So any time after this you will not be able to upload your application. So I do stress give yourself some time now in the following weeks to get used to the application process and what will be expected of you to answer, and to give you the time to make sure you get your application in well ahead of that deadline.
So the notification for outcomes will be early December, and then we would look to establish any funding agreement in December, given that we’re looking for quick turnaround projects. But you can commence the project up to the 1st of March, so you’d go into contract in that region in March. And then you’ve got 12 months to implement it, so 12 months from singing of the contract. Next slide please.
Now we move on to due diligence. So firstly just to give you some background on this, so we take a risk-based approach that will be used on any applicant’s social, economic and environmental risks in relation to the actual project. So that is if the application has been identified to have some compliance issues during assessment, this will be taken into account. It doesn’t make you ineligible though. So applicants must declare any compliance issues you have or have had with the EPA or WorkSafe and what you’ve done to mitigate them. Any insurances required we will need. You do need to declare any conflicts of interest you may have, and also declare any project history you’ve had with SV. So if you’ve received funding from SV in the past, please declare that. And again, I stress this does not mean you’re ineligible, any of these points. We just need to know. Next slide please.
Now briefly I just wanted to touch on if you are successful, what are the expectations. So naturally you receive a successful notification, and this happens at the same time as anyone who’s been unsuccessful who has applied. And should you wish to proceed with the funding, SV will get in touch and then we will start to speak to the contract, including the milestones. So we will cover what’s the evidence required of the milestones. This is generally in the form of, again as an example, you are buying some equipment, so we’d like to see the purchase order and the invoice would be part of the first milestone. The second milestone would be the commissioning of that actual plant, and again, depending on restrictions at the time, we may visit site, or the evidence would be pictures of the boiler, name plate rating, a video of the commissioned equipment, any electrical certificates that are needed, etcetera. So that’s the kind of evidence we will look for.
We have a final milestone around data. I would stress this is a zero dollar milestone, but this basically comes generally about six months after you have commissioned the site. And really what we’re capturing there is the tonnages that were expected to what they are in reality, and also the full time equivalent jobs. Now we do work with you to agree the date to the milestones, and I would stress we like to be conservative where we can. So if you believe you would commission in three months, we might be conservative and say let’s make it four months, and for the main reason there is that would save us having to do any contract variation down the line.
Now if you do actually commission well ahead of the milestone date itself, have no fear. We’re well able to pay that contract out ahead of time, subject to you giving us all the evidence of that milestone. And then once we’ve agreed everything, we would have the contract reviewed and signed by both parties, so SV and yourself, and then you’re in contract. And just to end there, once you’re in contract, the project needs to be completed within 12 months. That’s from signing of the contract.
So now I’ll pass over to Izo again, who will go through the application process briefly, and also will go through any commonly asked questions. And then if the questions have not been answered that you may have, I will come back at the end and answer any questions then. Thank you. Over to you Izo.
Thanks Ciaran. So now I’ll take you through just the application process, how to actually submit your application. So first thing is make sure that you are eligible. So check your eligibility, and also review the assessment criteria. So that’s clearly outlined in the grants page. So that’s very important for you to understand, to read clearly and understand. Then also make sure that you read and are satisfied with the short form grant funding agreement, and also the terms of participation. So both of those documents, links to those documents, are also on that grant page. And then it’s just time to plan, research and gather the information that you need. Next slide please Nick.
So when you are ready to start your application, you need to register and log in to SmartyGrants. So SmartyGrants is our grants management system. If you need any support setting up an account or you have any issues with SmartyGrants, please contact our Grants Enquiries email or the number. Both of those are listed there on the bottom of the slide. Once you have logged in, you can preview the application. So you can have a look at all the questions that you’ll be required to complete.
As Ciaran has already touched on, please allow plenty of time for you to go through this process of submitting your application, just to allow time to fix any errors, upload documents and the like, and also then to submit your application on time. And make sure that you are saving your application as you go along the way, because the last thing you would want is to spend a bit of time filling it out and then lose it for whatever reason. So just keep that in mind.
Now also please note that there is a word limit for many of the free text fields, and that the maximum size, if you’re uploading any files, is about 25 megabytes. There are some mandatory fields, and these are marked with a red asterisk. So those must be completed for you to be able to submit your application.
When you do submit, you will receive a confirmation, an electronic confirmation, but once you have submitted, you won’t be able to edit the form any longer. So if for any reason you would like to make any changes after you have submitted, we can open the application form again for you. You just need to contact the Grants Enquiries mailbox again. But just be mindful that it is your responsibility to ensure it is submitted again on time and before the 30th of September.
So we will accept late applications only in exceptional circumstances. So these circumstances are outlined in the terms of participation document, so have a look at that if you’re interested to know more about what those circumstances are. Next slide please Nick.
Now I’ll just quickly run through some tips on writing the application itself. So already touched on this, but cannot reinforce this enough, is just really plan your time and don’t submit at the last minute. We often see a bit of a rush at the last minute, and you may not have enough time to fill out all the sections. So just plan your time and try to allow plenty of time for you to submit your application. And include all the critical information directly in the form, not in attachments. You can attach documents, but if you put all your key information directly in the application form, this really helps our assessors understand your project clearly. So our assessors must review every single one of your documents, so you can imagine how tricky that might be to find all the critical information. So please be clear and only include attachments where absolutely necessary.
So write clearly and simply. As Ciaran has mentioned, dot points are okay, so please use that. And don’t overcook this. Include only necessary information, and don’t duplicate information. There is a word limit for many of the fields, so you want to make the most of those words.
Another important tip is complete any insurance and related entities’ details ahead of time. Many leave this to the end and run out of time. So if you don’t have any of the details yet, just say why. Next slide please Nick.
Okay. Now I’ll go through some commonly asked questions that we receive for grant funding programs, but ones that we think you might have specifically for this program. So just bear with me, because this might take a little while. But I just wanted to go through these one by one in case some of these are questions that you might have. So there is the Q&A function, and we’ll get to as many of those as we can after this presentation, unless we’ve covered already by these questions. So first question might be:
Q: Can SV review a draft of my application, or can I meet with someone to discuss my project idea or application?
So no. Unfortunately, being a competitive process, we are unable to review a draft or provide any specific feedback or meet with you to discuss your specific project or application. So what we would encourage is you to consider and address how the project meets the eligibility criteria, and to describe how the project addresses the merit criteria outlined in the fund guidelines and application form. So we try to be very clear with those, and which are available on the grant guideline page.
So another question that we often get is:
Q: My project will focus on X. Is this eligible, or which funding program is the most appropriate for my proposal?
So we often get these types of questions, but you are the one that knows your project in detail and in depth, so you are the best person to make that assessment, not us. So to understand whether your organisation or project is eligible, you just need to review the information on the website, go through the guidelines again in detail, understand each section, consider how your project meets that eligibility and merit criteria, and look at the questions in the application form as well. Then if you still have questions, you can send through those questions through email, or you can contact us at the Grants Enquiries contact.
Q: I have operated for less than 12 months. Can I still apply?
So applicants must have been operating for at least 12 months by the application closing date. That’s part of the eligibility. Just be mindful that we count that 12 months from the ABN registration date. So just be mindful of that. And to the date of the application submission date.
Q: Can a contractor or consultant submit an application on my behalf?
So yes, you can use a consultant or a contractor to submit your application, but just be mindful that the details on the application must be your details and also of your project obviously. And just also note that any consultant fees for helping you do that application for example, would not be eligible as costs of the funding as part of the project costs. So Ciaran went through what we will fund and what we won’t fund. So consultants is not part of that funding eligibility.
Q: Can I submit multiple applications for different projects?
So yes. So if you’re an eligible organisation, you can submit multiple applications for different projects, but you can’t submit multiple applications for the same project. So all applications will be assessed using the contested process and the merit criteria. So we’ll assess each individual application and project.
Q: Can a single funding application include funding for multiple projects?
I just covered that. So one application can only be included for one project, but a project can have multiple elements. So if you have a project that has multiple elements, that’s okay. But if you have different projects, make sure you’re submitting different applications.
Q: Can I apply for multiple funding programs?
So again, you can apply for multiple grants if they are for different projects. You cannot apply for funding for the same project in more than one of Sustainability Victoria’s funding programs. So each funding program has a different objective, eligibility requirement, assessment criteria, and your application should be specific to the funding program you’re applying for. If you have already submitted an application for another Sustainability Victoria funding program and now find that this program is more relevant and suitable, you can withdraw your other application. You just need to email our Grants Enquiries inbox.
Q: My project meets more than one of the key objectives, but does not create a new product. How will this be assessed given preference for new products?
So the panel will assess all projects against the criteria firstly, and rank accordingly. Then if we have two projects for example that have the same score but one creates a new product from packaging waste, we would then preference this project over the other. But just like in Round 1, we do anticipate that we’ll fund worthy projects that create products, but also projects that meet some of the other key objectives of diverting and recovering packaging waste.
Q: What is the difference between diverting, recovering and reprocessing materials?
So we do cover this in the application form, but I’ll just go through this here as well. So amount diverted. So that’s the additional reduction of waste being sent to landfill attributable to this project. So for example, in Round 1 we funded a business to invest in a new paper reel cutting machine that reduced the paper wastage and waste ending up in landfill. So amount recovered. That’s the amount directly recovered, so waste collected, sorted, processed and/or converted into raw materials for use in the production system, such as recycling. So another example from Round 1, we funded a business to invest in new equipment to recycle its plastic film that could be then re-used back in its business.
And amount reprocessed, that’s the amount of waste that is used to convert into a new product. So another example from Round 1 that we funded was a toy company to make toys made from recycled milk bottles. So what was the total amount reprocessed is the total amount that was used for that process.
So that’s it for me. I’ll pass you now to Nick and Ciaran to help us with some of the questions that come through the Q&A. So it’s essentially the end of the formal presentation, and now we’ll just get to some of your questions. So over to you both.
Hi everyone. Thank you for that. Thanks a lot for the questions throughout. Just going to scroll through and pick out the most popular ones. If we don’t get to your question today, then we’ll be able to follow that up in our Information Bulletin following this presentation. But for now, I’ll read out some questions and let Ciaran the expert answer them as we can. So one of the most popular questions was:
Q: Would this funding also extend for reusable packaging options in the place of polystyrene?
Yep. Thanks Nick. Good question. So yes, the answer is absolutely. So with your project, you would have to describe what tonnages you’re going to divert of that polystyrene away from landfill. So if you’re implementing a recyclable style of packaging, you’re displacing X tonnages of polystyrene going to landfill. So yes, it’s eligible.
Fantastic. And another question is:
Q: Are products using biodegradable material considered, ie does it have to utilise existing waste recovery?
So again, it kind of goes back to similar to the last one in one respect. So if you’re replacing packaging that is not recyclable or not recovered with a biodegradable material, that would be eligible, but you will be asked to give the tonnages of what you’re actually diverting by introducing the biodegradable material, and then you would be assessed and ranked accordingly in the assessment criteria. So it is eligible, but you will have to stress what you’re diverting by bringing in this material.
Great. And along similar lines there, another question is:
Q: Will you be funding projects that intend to recover compostable packaging?
So are you already selling the compostable packaging or you’re looking to recover the compostable packaging? That’s one I might have to take on note if that’s okay, and we can follow up afterwards.
Okay. No worries. A few people are just asking if this presentation will be available on the website, and yes, it will. We’ll have a recording afterwards. In terms of sharing the PowerPoint slides individually, Ciaran, that would be up to you and Izo.
And we normally wouldn’t, because they’re in the recording itself, so you’ll see the PowerPoint slides.
Okay. No worries. Let’s go through.
Q: The guidelines state that you will not fund projects that have received funding or support for the same activities from other sources. We received a grant to support the pilot phase of a project. Would we be eligible to apply for funding to create a scaled up version of this product with new outputs and outcomes?
Yep. Another good question. So yes, you would absolutely be eligible. So you’ve been funded for, as you said, the pilot phase. Now you’re moving in to what I’m guessing you’re calling the commercial phase. It’s a separate project. You would be eligible for funding.
Fantastic. And a question asking if partnership applications are allowed?
Normally we would want to go into – sorry – the application and the grant funding, should it be approved, would be with one applicant. We would rather that there’s one applicant and you would have your partnership between you. It’s just a lot easier. So we do see it where we have somebody who has let’s say retooling equipment, but that sits with a third party, but the funding would go to the person whose project it is and carried out the idea. I probably can explain it a little bit better in an email, but in essence you would come together. It would be one application, and you would behind the scenes work out who’s doing what or who’s subcontracting to the other.
Fantastic. And just a question asking:
Q: To reduce landfill by switching to recyclable materials, is the packaging R&D and design eligible, or only the packaging vessel?
I’m assuming this question might have come a little bit earlier in the session, so when we covered off what we will and won’t fund. So we’re looking to fund capital style projects for implementation, so we’re not funding R&D. So R&D or a pilot would not be eligible for funding.
So just more the equipment side or anything related to actually implementing the project.
Sure. And someone’s asking:
Q: If a project reduces plastic through increasing metal packaging, such as aluminium, would that still qualify?
Yeah. And this goes back, similar to the first couple of questions as well. It would, but what you really need to stress is how much you’re offsetting of that plastic packaging in this. So obviously yes, metals have a mature market, as we discussed, but you’re getting rid of or you’re taking out a packaging that’s not been diverted or recovered. That’s what we’ll be asking. What’s the expected tonnages you’re going to divert or recover there, or take out of play, so it’s not being generated?
Sure. And this next question kind of builds on the partnership question from earlier, but George is asking – he’s been working on their start up since the start of the year, however they’re working with another business that has been in operation for over a year. Can they have the other business as the lead partner despite their start up being the main beneficiary of the grant?
No. Because as stated by Izo and myself earlier, you have to be operating at least 12 months. So if you’re going to be the main beneficiary of this actual grant and you’re going to carry out the actual project and implement it and you’re going to see the benefits of that, you need to be operating 12 months.
And Alistair is asking:
Q: Could natural textiles be included in this?
Under this grant, unfortunately not. We’re focusing on the material streams already spoken about, which make up the majority of the packaging waste, with the exception of metals as discussed.
Fantastic. Someone has put a note in saying that they need to fast track some quotes for their application. How does it work if some of their invoices don’t match predicted costs?
So I’m assuming they’re looking to get the quotes now. Look, it kind of goes back to the retrospective issue. So they will not be able to order the equipment ahead of time of going into contract anyway. You would not be able to get funding. So I would assume if they were successful, they would have to get an updated quote on the equipment anyway. Sorry. I think I know where they’re coming from. If they put in the project costs for example, $50,000, and then it ends up being $70,000 because the quote they had has gone up for instance. If the question is around would their funding increase for that reason, it wouldn’t. We can only go on what project costs you give us and on that one to one basis. So if the costs increase, we won’t be able to increase the amount of grant request afterwards. Given we only have the $480,000, and we expect this to be quite a competitive round, we would not be able to then award any extra money after you’ve been successful.
Fantastic. I believe this might have been covered in the presentation, but good to cover it again. So someone’s asking:
Q: Would IT infrastructure costs for the diversion of waste be considered for this grant?
They will be considered if they directly relate to the project and they’re not the primary part of the project. So for instance, if you’re having to update a website to let your customers know that you’ve got a new piece of machinery that can take more recycled content, or you’re updating your customers along them lines, it’s directly related to the project, so it would be eligible. But it can’t be the primary part of the project. So again, we’re looking at that implementation style.
Great. And then someone’s just asking if you could define what operating for 12 months means?
I believe Izo answered this earlier as well. So we go by the ABN. So you could have been operating for let’s say three months and then only registered your ABN. We have to go on the ABN. So you need to be registered ABN 12 months for your business.
Okay. Great. And then another question.
Q: Does the funding have to be spent on Victorian manufacturers?
Victorian manufacturers would be one part of it. It needs to be spent on – and I think we covered it early. So the material source needs to be at least 50% Victorian, and their operation, so the actual project, does need to be carried out in Victoria, simply because we’re looking to deal with Victoria’s own waste and see benefits for Victoria.
Great. And another question.
Q: If the project is about a system that’s reusing rather than recycling, is that still eligible?
Again, it would be, and it goes back in the context of if you’re reusing. So let’s say it’s a bulk food store where someone’s coming back with reusable containers, it would be eligible, but you’re going to have to attribute by using this reuse scheme what you would be diverting from landfill. So if this reused scheme was not in place, X tonnages of a type of packaging would be in play. So you’re going to have to describe that. So it would be eligible in that context.
Okay. Fantastic. And I think this is the last question we have at the moment, so if anyone has any, keep flicking them through while we have some time. But someone’s asking:
Q: What if the final project cost ends up being lower than the predicted cost?
So I believe they mean will they still get their same grant funding. It doesn’t tend to happen. That would be very nice if that actually happens sometimes. So again, let’s use an example. It’s an $80,000 project and you’re awarded $40,000, but it comes in to be $70,000. I believe, and I will take it on note, but my understanding is if it comes in to be $70,000 we would only pay the $35,000, so the one to one. It goes back to the $1 funded, the 50/50 of the project. So if it came in lower, I believe it will be reduced, but I will take it on note just to confirm that in a follow up.
Okay. Thank you. Cool. There’s just a few more coming through now. Let’s see. What have we got here?
Q: On the information page it says that consultancy or contract work isn’t covered. Could you please expand on this? This person will essentially require contractors to complete the proposed work.
Okay. So consultancy, what we mean by there is if you – and we do see it quite a bit. A consultant will help a prospective proponent who has a project maybe with the application or to implement it. So we can’t cover the consultant’s costs. And then the second part of the question is they would need subcontractors I believe to carry out the work. This is standard, and that would be eligible. So for instance, you might be buying a piece of equipment and you need a subcontractor to install it or do the electrical sign off. That is standard. We just need to see the evidence that they carried out that work, because it’s directly attributed to the actual project being implemented.
Fantastic. And someone’s just asking:
Q: How much of waste tonnage recovering will be considered, and is it a monthly recovery?
When you’re answering in the SmartyGrants application, we take it all as annually. So obviously if you’re thinking in monthly, you just do it by 12. There is no minimum amount. Obviously we do want value for money, and that would work on a dollar per tonnage. So the more tonnages you are diverting quite frankly the better. Now we do realise some material streams are harder to recover than others, and we do take that into account as well. So there’s no minimum tonnage.
Sorry Nick. I would add in overall, you will have seen in the outcomes we are looking to get to 6,000 tonnes overall, so the combined tonnage of all the projects. That is something we are seeking as part of one of the outcomes.
Okay. Great. Let’s see. Just a few more trickling through. I know there’s quite a few coming through, so if people are wondering where their question is, we’re just moderating them all so it takes a little while for them to appear on the Q&A page.
Not sure I understand this question, but hopefully you do Ciaran.
I think this question to me doesn’t make sense.
No. I think it’s a new activity was started under an existing ABN, then it’s still allowed, is how I’m interpreting this question that’s come through.
If the new activity – so I believe it might be the new project or the new activity. So if it’s under an existing ABN and that new activity has not started before you sign a contract should you be successful, then it will be eligible. If you’ve started the activity, which I’m assuming is the project, already, we cannot fund retrospectively. Yeah. I’m a little bit unsure about that actual question, but that’s okay. But also I’d just add, whoever did ask that question, if I haven’t answered it satisfactorily or you meant something else – and this is for any of the questions there – you can follow up afterwards through our grants team. Sorry Nick.
Yeah. No worries. That’s a good answer. And another question come through.
Q: Could diverting cardboard that heads to a recycling company in bulk bins to third parties that manufacture using the waste be eligible?
So it’s already been recovered, but I believe in this instance then they’re going to reprocess it into some type of new product. So then yes, it would be eligible under that reprocess. So we’re either looking for it to divert, reprocess or recover. Yeah. So if I get the question right, yes, they have gone to reprocess it into what must be a new product. So yes, it definitely would be eligible. Yep.
We’re quite aware a lot of people who are going to make a new product are already taking recovered material. So it’s already being diverted and recovered. They’re just reprocessing it into a new product. So it’s absolutely eligible if that’s what it was.
Okay. Great. And someone’s asking:
Q: When will Round 3 be open, and will future rounds be open to companies that have been operating for less than 12 months?
So at this moment in time there is no Round 3. This is the funding that is available for Round 2 and that followed a very successful Round 1. So there is no Round 3 at this moment. Should there be a Round 3 in the future, then we will look into the design of the program and look do we want to bring that 12 months lower. At the moment 12 months is quite a short period for us. All of our other programs are at least two years, if not three years, and the reason we went to one year with this one is because we’re trying to aim and help the smaller side of the market with quick turnaround projects.
Fantastic. And this might be one of our last questions before we have to wrap up.
Q: Would there be any consideration in the application if a project is able to reutilise other plastic waste as well as packaging waste?
Absolutely. Yep. It does not have to be packaging waste. Well if they’re not using packaging waste, it has to be going into a packaging product. So I’m not sure was that happening. So it looks like they’re looking for multiple sources of waste, which is normal. That’s not an issue. But in that instance, if it’s multiple and the majority of the waste was not packaging, it would have to be going into a packaging product.
Okay. Fantastic. I think we’re pretty much on time. I might just hand it back over to you Ciaran to wrap up. And as I mentioned, anyone whose question we didn’t get to, apologies, but we will be sending out the answers as part of the Information Bulletin following this presentation. But back to you Ciaran.
Perfect. Thank you Nick. And just to add to that, should you have any burning question that you feel we haven’t answered or not been able to get to today, you can ring or email our Grants team. So you can see the number there. That’s the direct number and the Grants Enquiries email. Also this recording will be available on our website, and as Nick has stated already, it will go out in an info webinar. And lastly, I’d like to thank you all for coming here today and showing your interest in the packaging program. And just to reiterate, all the info, the eligibility criteria, what we’re looking to fund, what we will not fund, it’s all available on the website. And good luck with your application. Thank you. Bye.
[Closing visual of slide with text saying ‘Thank you’, ‘Grants enquiries’, ‘+61 3 8656 6757’, ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’, email@example.com’, ‘f @SustainVic’, ‘t @SustainVic’, ‘in Sustainability Victoria’, ‘Sustainability Victoria’, ‘Victoria State Government’]
[End of Transcript]
Below you will find the questions we have received from interested
parties and our responses.
Are partnership applications allowed?
Yes, your project may be delivered through a partnership. However, there must only be one lead applicant, which should also be the grant’s main beneficiary.
Will a project qualify for funding if it diverts an eligible material from going to a recycling company to a third party that manufactures using the eligible material?
You, as the lead applicant, need to be the organisation to carry out the main activity, not a third party.
A third party that manufactures a new product from packaging waste or one that creates new packaging from recycled content would be eligible as per the program objectives.
What does "operating for 12 months" mean?
We will consider your eligibility for this requirement based on your ABN registration date and the grant closing date . As the grant closes on 30 September 2021, you will need your ABN registration date to be on or before 30 September 2020.
Will you fund projects that intend to recover compostable packaging?
As per the program guidelines, the recovery of compostable packaging is not eligible as it must divert or recover at least one of these materials from landfill – plastics, paper and cardboard, or glass.
However, projects to replace an eligible material with compostable packaging that meets the Australian Compostability Standards: AS4736-2006 or AS5810-2010 are eligible.
How does Sustainability Victoria define packaging materials?
Packaging is defined in the National Environment Protection Measures (NEPM) to mean all packaging products made of any material, or combination of materials, for the containment, protection, marketing or handling of consumer products. This includes distribution packaging.
Materials eligible for funding – where they constitute the majority of the packaging material – are plastics, paper and cardboard, and glass. Projects that do not primarily recover one of these materials (such as metals) cannot qualify for the funding.
If a project has already commenced or is completed, is it eligible for a grant?
No, retrospective funding will not be provided for activities that have already commenced or are completed at the time of signing the SV funding agreement.
Is there a minimum amount of packaging waste I need to reduce, recover or reprocess to be eligible?
No, there is no minimum amount. However, the fund does have an overall aim to divert 6,000 tonnes of packaging waste from landfill, so more weighting will be given to projects that provide better value for money (for example, using project dollar amount per tonne).
What does it mean by “preference will be given to projects that create new products”?
The panel will first assess all projects against the assessment criteria, and then rank accordingly.
If 2 projects have the same score, but one creates a new product from packaging waste, we would give preference to this project over the other.
We received a grant to support the pilot phase of a project. Are we eligible to apply for funding to create a scaled-up version of this project with new outputs and outcomes?
While Research and Development and Demonstration (RD&D) projects are not eligible for funding, if this is at a commercialisation phase, it can be considered a different project and therefore would be eligible for funding.
Does funding have to be spent on Victorian manufacturers?
Your project must be located in and service Victoria and source more than 50% of the waste from Victoria. However, your capital purchases may come from manufacturers outside of Victoria and Australia.
The grant page says that “consultancy or contract work” isn't covered. Can you please expand on what this means?
The costs for engaging a consultant or contractor to assist with submitting your application or developing your project are ineligible for funding as they are not considered part of your total project costs.
However, costs related to completing the work (for example, a contractor installing the equipment) directly relates to the capital works and can be included as part of your total project costs.
What if the project cost ends up being different from the predicted cost I stipulated on my application (for example, if invoices don’t match the predicted cost or there is a price change in the invoice)?
If you are successful, we will only fund the project cost on a 1:1 co-contribution basis, up to the amount included in your application.
Therefore, if the final project cost is lower than the predicted cost, we will co-contribute on a 1:1 basis to the value of the new lower cost. However, if the costs are higher, we will only fund according to the amount included in your application. This is due to the total funding pool available and distribution of funds to other successful projects.