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We held an information session to present an overview of the fund and application criteria.
[Opening visual of slide with text saying ‘Recycling Victoria – Recycling Modernisation Fund and Recycling Victoria Infrastructure Fund’, ‘Information Session’, ‘1 April 2021’, ‘Sustainability Victoria’]
[The visuals during this webinar are of a PowerPoint presentation being played on screen, with speakers appearing via video to the right of the screen]
Hi everyone. Thanks for joining. We’re just going to wait a couple of minutes for people to jump online.
Okay. We’ll get started. So, thank you so much for coming today and joining our first Information Session for the recently announced Recycling Victoria Recycling Modernisation Fund, co-funded by the Australian Government, and the Recycling Victoria Infrastructure Fund for materials.
I’d like to begin by acknowledging the traditional owners on the many lands on which we are meeting from today, and I’d also like to pay my respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.
My name’s Ki. My pronouns are he/him, and I’m the Program Lead here at Sustainability Victoria, and I’ll be taking you through the content for today’s session, along with my colleague Kristy, whose pronouns are she/her. And I’d also like to introduce you to Amanda Neilson, the manager of Resource Recovery Infrastructure, who will shortly introduce the policy context for these programs. With us also is Lorraine and Emily, who will be assisting with the Q&A portion of the session.
And I’m advising everyone that today’s session is being recorded, and will be publicly available on the Funding pages in a week or so, and an email notification will be sent to all those who have registered when it becomes available.
So, the purpose of today’s session is to give participants an overview of the two funding opportunities, and there will be an opportunity at the end of the presentation to ask questions. You can see on the right-hand side of your screen that there’s the ability to post questions as we go, so please feel free to start posting your questions. Emily and Lorraine will help facilitate these at the end of the presentation, and we’ll answer any questions that have more likes first. So if you want to hear the response to a question that’s been posted, give it a thumbs up.
To ensure we respond to all of your questions, if we don’t get to them today, we will compile a Q&A and make it available along with the recording.
So, I’ll pass over now to Amanda to give you an overview of the purpose of these funding opportunities under the National Waste Policy Action Plan 2019, and the Recycling Victoria New Economy Policy.
Thanks Ki. Hopefully you can all hear me. Firstly, I’d like to welcome everybody who has joined us today. At last count we had over 120 registrations, so that’s really exciting and very promising. We’ll try our best to give you the information that you need as we work through the presentation.
So, I’ll just give you a bit of a policy and strategy overview before I hand back to Ki. As most of you are aware, the existing National Waste Policy and related action plan includes the national ban on export waste materials, including paper, cardboard, glass and tyres. The Commonwealth National Recycling Modernisation Fund has been established to support the impacts of the ban and work towards achieving these actions. The National Resource Modernisation Fund is part of the national policy to change the way Australia looks at waste, grow our economy, protect the environment, and reach a national resource recovery target of 80% by 2030, and has been established across all states and territories.
The Morrison Government has committed $190 million to the Recycling Modernisation Fund. That is anticipated to generate $600 million of recycling investment and drive a billion-dollar transformation of Australians’ waste and recycling capacity. It’s also anticipated that 10,000 jobs will be created, and over 10 million tonnes of waste materials will be diverted from landfill so that they can be made into useful products, aiming to turbo charge Australia’s recycling capacity.
The Recycling Modernisation Fund, or what we like to refer to it as, RMF, will support innovation, and investment in new infrastructure, to sort, process and remanufacture materials, as I mentioned, such as mixed plastics, paper, cardboard, tyres and glass. The National RMF Commonwealth funding is a co-funded program that requires industries, states, territories and the Australian Government to commit funding contributions to projects. In Victoria this is called the Recycling Victoria Recycling Modernisation Fund. Next slide.
So, following on from the National Waste Policy, in Victoria you’ll be familiar with the Recycling Victoria: A New Economy Policy, which was released in February last year. We call this the RV policy. It is a ten-year action plan to fundamentally transform the resource recovery sector, reduce waste and create thousands of jobs, ultimately setting Victoria up for a more sustainable sector and future. Recycling Victoria will drive investment in jobs and increase industry processing capacity. The reforms within the policy and the associated action plan will be delivered alongside investment and innovation, as a comprehensive package to provide reliable services and a strong industry for the future in which we all here today have a vested interest in and can contribute to.
The policy actions and services aim to meet and exceed community expectations, and will contribute to improving operational issues and compliance issues across the sector. Next slide.
There are several reforms as part of the RV policy, nine overall. The kerbside reform to change the way that Victorians recycle materials at the source, being at household level, to increase the quality of materials that are being recovered for reprocessing into new products for remanufacturing. Reducing business waste through a new circular economy and the creation of the Business Innovation Centre aims to help businesses to reduce their waste. Behaviour change, which I think we all agree is a critical part of any change in waste and recycling systems and services, and aims to help waste producers reduce waste by reusing, sharing, repairing and recycling products, and having households and communities understand how this will work.
The RV intention is to stimulate investment in priority infrastructure, to support increasing recycling across the state, to ensure that we have viable local capacity and capability networks and quality products that we can reuse in remanufacturing. The two funding streams have been designed and released to support the impact of the national ban on export waste, and goal three of the Recycling Victoria policy: to recycle more resources.
So, I’ll hand back now to Ki, who will be able to talk through the particulars of the fund and give you some more information there before questions. Thanks Ki.
So, as we mentioned, the funding has two opportunities, the Recycling Victoria Recycling Modernisation Fund, which I’ll refer to as the Modernisation Fund so it’s not a mouthful, and the Recycling Victoria Infrastructure Fund, which I will refer to as the Infrastructure Fund.
So, both of these funds, we use the same application form. So, Sustainability Victoria will then determine which fund your project is eligible for and assessed under. We’ll be doing this in consultation with the Australian Government, and I’ll go into more detail on this later.
So, the funding objectives for both of these are to support recycling infrastructure that will build the capacity, capability and resilience of Victoria’s resource recovery sector, prepare businesses for the implementation of the national waste export ban, increase the quality of materials for remanufacturing and create jobs in the circular economy.
The Modernisation Fund will provide funding for reprocessing, remanufacturing and end market capacity projects for materials impacted by the national waste export ban. Projects could include new or upgraded materials recovery facilities, new equipment or facilities to increase domestic processing capacity of recyclable materials, projects, including trial projects, to increase the use of recycled materials in manufacturing and/or infrastructure. So, the trials are included in the Modernisation Fund, but they are not included in the Infrastructure Fund.
So, there’s $37.9 million available for the Modernisation Fund for Australian and international businesses and local government and NGOs. Applicants are required to meet the minimum cash co-contribution of $1 from the applicant, $1 from Sustainability Victoria, and $1 from the Australian Government. You should include the full funding request from both state and federal governments in your application, so the $2 for your $1, as the Australian Government funding will be administered by Sustainability Victoria. Funding from other government sources, including federal, state or local, can’t be included in your portion of the co-contribution.
So, the Modernisation Fund supports infrastructure projects that address specific waste materials impacted by the national waste export ban. For example, it is not all glass that is eligible, but unprocessed glass in a whole or broken state; mixed plastics that are not of a single resin/polymer type and/or require further sorting, cleaning or processing; all whole used tyres, including baled tyres, but not including bus, truck and aviation tyres exported for re-treading to a verified re-tread facility; single resin/polymer plastics that have not been reprocessed; and mixed and unsorted paper and cardboard.
So, as I mentioned earlier, you’ll only need to submit one application for both of the funds. If your application is eligible for the Modernisation Fund, it will be subject to consideration by the Australian Government for funding. However, if your application is not successfully funded through the Australian Government, SV will assess your application under the Infrastructure Fund, which will change your required co-contribution ratio. In this case we’ll come back to you and give you the opportunity to adjust your co-contribution and consider any impact on your project’s viability.
So the Infrastructure Fund will provide funding for projects that may include infrastructure and equipment for new facilities, upgrades or expansions that will support greater sorting and decontamination of recovered materials, and/or to enable reprocessing of materials to a high quality, suitable for manufacturers and end markets. It may also include infrastructure and equipment for the remanufacturing of recovered materials into new products.
So, for this fund, the Infrastructure Fund, there’s $13.3 million available for Australian and international businesses, local government and NGOs. The applicants are required to meet the following minimum cash co-contributions. So, for industry, which includes businesses and NGOs, they must co-contribute at least $3 for every $1 funded. For local government, it’s at least $2 for every $1 funded. So, I want to note here that the investment leverage will be a key consideration as part of the application assessment. So, the higher your investment, it will be looked upon more favourably.
There are exclusions and priorities within each of the priority materials which are listed on your screen, but these are available in the guidelines. And I’ll just mention a couple. I’ll mention plastics and organics to give you an idea. So, for plastics, we’re focusing on reprocessing and manufacturing capacity of all types of plastics, but we are prioritising low value plastics, so plastic codes 3 to 7, and remanufacturing facilities and projects that seek to commoditise recovered plastics. For organics, it will include primary and secondary processing of organic waste, but will exclude open window composting in metropolitan locations, and it will exclude waste to energy, so anaerobic digestion. Priority will be given to processing kerbside food and garden organics, and commercial and industrial organics.
So, in this portion of the session, I’ll start discussing the eligibility criteria for both of the funding streams, and we’ll start with who will be funded.
So eligible applicants must have a current Australian Business Number, or ABN, or a joint venture with a partner who has one, or commit to establishing an Australian company prior to entering into a Funding Agreement with Sustainability Victoria. You must be a business, not for profit or local government. You must have been operating in Australia or internationally for a minimum of 12 months by the application closing date, which is the 7th of May, and you must meet or exceed the minimum co-contribution requirements. You must also agree to comply with the funding terms and conditions, the terms of participation in the grant programs, which are available on our website.
Applicants and project partners must demonstrate financial capability to undertake the project, must not have failed to meet program timelines with other Sustainability Victoria funding programs without sufficient reason, must not have failed to address an environmental or safety breach, must not have a breach yet unresolved, and must not have a current industrial relations investigation or prosecution.
So now on to what is eligible for funding.
In order to be eligible, projects must be located in Victoria. They must source more than 50% of the materials from Victoria. They must meet the eligibility criteria and one or more of the funding objectives listed in the guidelines. You must meet regulatory or planning requirements, demonstrate a need for government funding support, and be commissioned and operational by the 30th of March 2024. Projects should maximise public value and private sector co-investment. Requested funding must be directly related to your project.
So, what won’t be funded?
These items will make your project ineligible, or they are ineligible. Projects must not have commenced construction before the signing of the agreement. You can purchase equipment or order it, but it’s at your own risk whether or not you end up getting the funding.
Be undertaken solely to comply with regulation or a regulatory notice or order. You must not focus on materials other than those previously listed. It must not include waste to energy, such as bioenergy or gasification. It must not seek to extend capacity for the receipt of unsorted materials, for example transfer stations.
The following are ineligible for funding. In-kind contributions, requests for assistance in managing cashflow, purchase of land, routine or cyclical maintenance works, ongoing operational costs, costs of equipment not yet dedicated to the project purpose, pre-construction and site preparation activities, projects that involve the repair of facilities damaged by vandalism, fire or other natural disasters, where the damage should be covered by your insurance, business case development, feasibility studies, consultancy or contract work, project management costs, and contingency costs. So, government funding cannot be applied to any of these costs. Some of these are eligible to be under your co-contribution, and you can contact us for more information.
So, I’ll now hand over to Kristy, and she’s going to go through the assessment criteria and how you can apply.
Thanks Ki. So, I’m going to now provide an overview of the assessment criteria by which the assessment panel will score your application. Sorry. I should say I’m Kristy Meeuwsen, and I’m the Program Support Officer for these funds. Apologies in advance. I have a little bit of a cold, so if I have to mute myself for a cough, please forgive me.
So, you can read further detail on the assessment criteria in the guidelines on our website, and the application is structured in a way that makes it clear which criteria each question falls under. You’ll see as we go through there are different weightings applied to some of the criteria under the Modernisation Fund and Infrastructure Fund. This is so the Modernisation Fund aligns with Commonwealth Government funding objectives. For all application questions across all of the criteria, it’s really important that you support your statements with evidence. You may have a project that’s technologically and financially viable, have fantastic potential outcomes and a crack team to deliver it, but without supporting evidence, there’s no way for SV to assess the validity of those statements, and it makes it really hard for the assessors to give a high mark.
So, I’ll provide some examples of what we’re looking for as we go through the criteria. It’s also important to note that we can’t come back to you to ask for additional information. We can only ask for clarification on information included that isn’t clear. Now I’ll go through each of the four assessment criteria, starting with what. Next slide please Ki.
So, for the what criteria, under the Modernisation Fund the weighting is 50%, and under the Infrastructure Fund, the weighting is 30%. Under what, you’ll be asked to demonstrate the project meets one or more of the fund objectives, demonstrate the project is viable and investment ready, demonstrate the objectives of the project proposed align with the strategic priorities of your organisation.
In terms of supporting your statements with evidence, say your project is to install equipment that’s going to clean a certain grade of material that will increase the quantity of high-grade material available for remanufacturing. This would meet that second funding objective: to increase the use in market demand of quality recovered materials for remanufacturing. The sort of evidence we would be looking for includes technology specifications on how much it is going to clean the materials, evidence of manufacturing uses for your proposed product, any market research available, and demonstration of end markets through quotes, commercial agreements or letters of support from potential customers.
So, the Modernisation Fund has an additional question in which we ask you to demonstrate the impact your project will have on capacity requirements resulting from the impacts of the waste export ban on materials. So here we’re looking first at what the expected impacts of the bans will be on the markets for materials, for example the impacts on the quantity and quality of materials that will need to be processed onshore, or the possible pathways for materials once they can no longer be exported. We then want you to demonstrate the extent to which your project will address these impacts. We recommend that you look at the COAG export ban information available online – we provide links in the guidelines and in the application – and use available data to support your statements. For example, current export volumes and markets for your material. Potential data sources include your own business data, industry reports, reports available on the SV website, for example the Victorian Recycling Industry Annual Report and the monthly Recovered Resources Market Bulletin, as well as export data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
So, you guys are the experts on the market. We want you to tell us what’s going to achieve a significant outcome for each material, rather than giving you a narrow definition. This will of course depend on a number of factors, including the specific material involved, the available feedstock and current end markets. That being said, we do have some suggested considerations that you might include in your application. These are outlined in the application form, but I’ll go through them quickly now. Things like is your project of a scale to achieve a significant outcome for the relevant materials? Does your project present significant value for money or leverage additional investment? Will your project directly reduce exports of the relevant materials? How much of the relevant material is currently exported, and what proportion of current export volumes will your project address? By what percentage will your project increase current domestic processing? Will your project have the capacity and capability to service multiple states? Does your project address a difficult to recover material or a gap in the market? Will your project support a major industry transition, e.g. from baling to shredding tyres, or does your project support a new end market? So those are some of the considerations that you might wish to address in your application.
So now I will move on to the next criteria. Thanks Ki. So, under the who criteria, the assessment panel will be looking for applications that demonstrate the participant’s capability and capacity to successfully deliver the project. It’s worth 20% under both funds. If for example your organisation or project partners have experienced delivering similar infrastructure projects, we would be looking for details on what these projects were, any challenges or setbacks in delivery and how these were overcome, and what were the project outcomes. More generally, we also want to know what project management, monitoring and evaluation processes you have in place, as well as details of stakeholder engagement undertaken or planned.
Under the how criteria, applicants will be assessed on how well the applicant has demonstrated viability to successfully deliver the project, including financial viability demonstrated through financial assessment and cost benefit analysis. The weighting for how is 20% for the Modernisation Fund and 30% for the Infrastructure Fund. The kinds of supporting evidence we would be looking for here is proof of site ownership or lease agreement, if you have a secured site, council planning approval or relevant EPA licences or permits, and a detailed risk management plan and monitoring and evaluation framework to measure the outcomes of your project.
So now to the final criteria, why. Under this criteria, projects will be assessed on why the project is needed, why financial assistance from government is needed, what benefits the project will provide, and how it aligns to the priorities of government. The weightings are 10% for the Modernisation Fund and 20% for the Infrastructure Fund. Again, any statements here should be supported by evidence where possible. In terms of the need for government financial assistance, we recognise there’s a conflict here in terms of projects needing to be viable on the one hand, but also demonstrating the need for financial assistance on the other. The key here is to explain potential outcomes with and without government support, for example the impacts on capacity or delivery timeframes if financial assistance is provided.
In addition to the scoring done to rank the projects based on the assessment criteria we’ve just gone through, the assessment panel may overlay diversity considerations, such as geographical spread and a spread across the industry, types of projects and materials.
Successful Recycling Victoria Infrastructure Fund round one applicants can apply for this next round of funding, but it must be for a different project, and previous funding allocations will also be considered as part of the diversity assessment for round two.
Next slide please Ki. An important part of the assessment process is where SV is required to complete due diligence on applications, similar to if you were applying for a bank loan or seeking private sector investment in your project. During these checks, Sustainability Victoria looks at any compliance issues, the financial viability of the applicant and project partners, adequate insurance, any conflicts of interest, and delivery history with SV. The financial viability check requires applicants to provide financial information to a contracted third party to undertake a financial risk assessment. This is a mandatory requirement, regardless of the size and operating history of your business or your history with SV. This information is commercial in confidence, and will not be shared with any other parties.
For international applicants, Invest Victoria will be assisting Sustainability Victoria to conduct due diligence checks. So, applicants will need to engage with and provide information to their local Victorian Government Trade and Investment Office to assist with this process. The results of these checks then forms part of a risk-based assessment of the project.
So how do you apply? So, there’s a few steps. First you need to ensure that you’re eligible and that your project meets the assessment criteria, by thoroughly reading the guidelines. You need to read and understand the terms and conditions of funding, the terms of participation, and the relevant Funding Agreement for the amount that you’re seeking. You need to plan, research and gather information for your application as early as possible, to give your application the best chance of success. Because of the potential scale of these grants, it’s a fairly lengthy application form which is going to take some time to complete, so we ask that you start the bulk of your application no later than three weeks before the closing date. The SmartyGrants system that you’ll use allows you toleave and go back to it at any time.
So you’ll register or log on to SmartyGrants to start your application. You’ll need to review and complete the eligibility check and project readiness assessment as soon as possible to ensure your project is investment ready and you have time to get support. So I’ll go through the project readiness assessment in a little more detail in a moment. You can print a draft of your application with just your eligibility check and send to Grants Enquiries if you would like to access support from Sustainability Victoria’s investment facilitation team. Please complete all questions and upload supporting documents. Sustainability Victoria will be running a troubleshooting and application question via question workshop on Wednesday the 21st of April at 2:00pm. You’ll need to have registered for SmartyGrants by Friday the 16th of April to receive an invitation to register. So please put that date in your calendars. That’s Friday the 16th of April. Please look through the application and start filling it out before attending the workshop. Next slide please Ki.
Complete and submit your application via SmartyGrants by 11:59 on the 7th of May, 2021. On submission you’ll receive an electronic reply from SmartyGrants. Late applications will not be accepted, except under exceptional circumstances. If your computer or internet connection is prone to meltdowns, I suggest putting the day before, the 6th of May in your calendar. Often people have technical issues at the last minute. So, if you need support with any of these steps, you can contact Grants Enquiries. So, I will put the details in the Q&A section now. And unfortunately, they won’t be available at 11:58 on the 7th of May, so highly recommend you engage with them early on. So, I’ll just put those details in there now. That’s posted.
Next slide please Ki. So, to improve your chance of success, please take the time to read the guidelines. I know I’m restating the obvious, but it really is critical, and in the past it’s been clear that not everybody has done so. We recommend Australian applicants engage with investment support services before submitting their application to ensure their project is investment ready and set up for success. Victorian Government business officers can connect your business to the appropriate service for you. For example, for those of you in regional Victoria, regional and rural Victoria have dedicated economic development officers that can assist you with your application and your business case. Sustainability Victoria offers an investment facilitation service for projects that build Victoria’s resource recovery sector. This service can tell you what you need to have in place for your project, and provide connections within the industry if you need project partners. More information is available on the SV website.
International applicants must notify their nearest Victorian Government Trade and Investment Office of their intention to apply in order to assist Sustainability Victoria with due diligence checks. These services cannot tell you if your project is eligible or if it will be funded. Next slide Ki.
So, following the initial eligibility check section of the application in SmartyGrants, there’s a project readiness assessment. So, this section isn’t assessed by the panel. Instead, it’s a self-assessment designed to provide guidance on key application questions and key areas where previous applications have fallen down. It’s also designed to ensure your project is investment ready and ensure your application has the best possible chance of success. In the interests of time, I won’t read them all out, but I suggest you take a look at this early on. If the answer to any of these questions is no, it doesn’t mean your project won’t be funded. It just means that you need to consider how you can progress on these project elements and how you will address them in the application, including as part of the required risk management plan. So, for example, if you don’t yet have secured feedstock for your project, you should provide detail in your application on the availability of the required feedstock in the market about how you plan to secure feedstock, any potential suppliers you may have approached, and any key dependencies in securing feedstock. So, the only exception to ano response is the question on any outstanding environmental workplace safety or industrial relations issues. If the answer to this is yes, you will then need to detail in your application how you’re engaging with the relevant regulatory body, and any mitigation actions you are taking to resolve the issue or issues. Next slide please Ki.
So, timelines. So, the next information session, which is working through the application itself, is on Wednesday the 21st of April at 2:00pm. Applications close at 11:59 pm on Friday the 7th of May. We acknowledge that this is a relatively challenging timeframe in which to complete an in-depth application. Unfortunately, we don’t have any flexibility with that, so we recommend starting as early as possible. Notification of outcomes is subject to the approvals process, but rest assured SV will advise you on the outcome of your application as soon as possible.
Once projects are approved, the timing for the remaining stages is really down to the successful applicants. We aim to establish the Funding Agreement and let you get cracking on your project as soon as possible after successful projects are notified. As noted by Ki earlier, all successful projects must be completed by 30 March 2024 to align with the Victorian Government budget cycle.
Now I’ll hand back to Ki to go through some commonly asked questions before we open the questions up. Thanks Ki.
Thanks Kristy. So, we have had some questions come in which I’d like to just go over quickly. So, the first question is:
Q: Can I submit more than one application?
Yes, you can, as long as it’s for a completely separate project. A single business can submit more than one application if they have multiple projects that meet the eligibility criteria, and the individual project can demonstrate how it addresses the assessment criteria and the objectives of the program. For example, if there are two projects that produce different outputs, each project must be able to demonstrate an increase to capability or capacity as a standalone project.
Q: I have a small-scale project. Should I still apply?
Yes. The fund seeks to maximise public value and return on investment in the industry. Co contributions and the lack of funding caps are not intended to discourage applications in respect of smaller scale projects that demonstrate public value. SV encourages projects of all sizes, and will consider this during our diversity assessment.
Q: Are waste to energy projects eligible?
Waste to energy projects are not eligible for funding under the Infrastructure Fund or the Modernisation Fund. This includes incineration, pyrolysis, gasification, refuse derived fuel and anaerobic digestion.
Q: Can SV review a draft of my grant application?
No. The grant program is a competitive process, so the grants team are unable to review a draft or provide feedback on your application itself. However along with the other services mentioned by Kristy, such as the Victorian Government business officers, SV’s investment facilitation team is a service that is separate from our grants delivery team, and they can provide support in reviewing your project concept and business case, but not your application. They do that so they can make sure that your project is investment ready.
So now we’ll open it up to questions. So, I will hand it over to Lorraine. What’s our first question?
Okay. One of the key questions was about organics.
Q: Commercial quantities of organics are more suited to waste to energy projects, so why is commercial organics included but not waste to energy?
Yeah. Thanks for the question. We are planning on having other opportunities for those sorts of projects coming up in the future, so that’s why they’re excluded.
Another one question about a similar thing was:
Q: What about projects that remove food packaging to allow recycling and use the food to produce energy?
Well, it depends on which angle you’re coming from. If you’re increasing capacity to recover the plastics, then the fact that the organics goes to – you just wouldn’t include that as an output for your project. So, we wouldn’t fund any of the infrastructure required for the anaerobic digestion side of the project. You can fund that. But if there’s funding required to increase the capacity to recover plastics, then we would consider that.
Q: And would the grants team consider including organics processing in the Modernisation Fund at a one to one-to-one funding?
No. The reason for that is because the Modernisation Fund is focusing specifically on the waste export ban material. So only those projects and materials that are going to be impacted by export.
I think they were the key questions. I think you’ve answered most of the others Ki. That was the general trend.
Okay. Fantastic. And if there are any other new questions coming up – is there any others that we can kind of go through?
Ki, there’s a few in the chat that I can read out.
So there was a question asking for confirmation that transfer stations are completely ineligible.
Yeah. So as I mentioned earlier, transfer stations won’t be eligible for this funding.
There’s a couple of questions around sites. So the same answer for both.
Q: Is it possible to get funding for new sites for established businesses, and how many sites under one ABN could be funded?
Yep. So that goes to the question earlier about whether you can apply for multiple projects. So as I explained before, they’ve got to be totally separate projects with separate outcomes. So you can put in as many applications as you like, as long as they’re completely isolated, different projects, different sites. Well, it can be the same site, but you have to be really good at delineating what the outcomes are going to be and what the funding is going to go to.
And Ki, can I just interrupt? Solvent waste is also being considered for organic waste. That actually will be dealt with through hazardous waste.
So if there’s no other questions, Kristy, do you want to pull up the SmartyGrants, or send me the link to it and I can pull it up, and we can just start to go through examples of the application itself?
Sorry. It might just take me a couple of minutes. I think there’s a couple more questions in that Q&A that you might be able to go through Ki just while I’m doing that.
Q: Is pre-owned equipment eligible under the funding program, or does equipment have to be new?
I’ll hand that one over to Molly actually. Are you there Molly?
I am here.
Pre-owned equipment. It’s not excluded, however the project plan for whatever project it is you’re delivering does need to still meet all the eligibility requirements. Second hand or pre-loved equipment, it can take a lot of refurbishment and maintenance and the like, so you need to weigh that up really as to whether it will still fit in with the timelines and meet the outcomes of the actual program.
There’s another question there about:
Q: 50% of materials secured from Victoria, yet you ask if the service can be extended to multiple states. How is that determined and evidenced?
So if you’ve got secured feedstock through contracts coming from Victoria, that’s a good way to provide that evidence. You might be close to the border and you might be taking materials from interstate as well. So again, any evidence of what that feedstock is, how much it is and where it’s coming from.
Q: Can equipment be ordered before the final outcome of application?
Yes, you can order it. You just can’t commence construction. But if you do order it, it’s at your own risk if you don’t end up getting the funding.
And there’s another question.
Q: My projects will be ready by December but will start by June. Do I fit into the timing?
Yeah. That’s fine. If your project’s ready to commence later, that’s not a problem. That’s just where we put the milestones in later for the contract that we have established with you. As long as it’s completed by 30th of March 2024, that’s fine.
And I’ll just add to that too. So if the question is referring to it will be starting in June, as long as you’re not doing construction, that’s okay. As Ki’s mentioned before, you can pre-order equipment, but you do that at your own riskin terms of whether you’re successful or not with the funding.
Just one quick one.
Q: If you have a site that hasn’t settled, will the grant still be available?
I assume they mean they haven’t - - -
If you haven’t secured a site yet? So Kristy went through that a lit bit earlier. If the site has not quite yet been secured, you just need to demonstrate when it would be secured and how you’d manage any potential risks and impacts to the timeframe of your project. So if you can demonstrate that you’ve thought through any of the risks or the impacts to delivery of the project, and the project would still be able to go through all your required planning permits and EPA requirements, as long as you can demonstrate that you’re going to manage those and you’re going to be still completely commissioned by the 30th of March 2024, then that’s fine. You just need to demonstrate that.
Ki, I’ve got the application ready to go.
Are there any more questions?
Is there any more questions Lorraine?
Sorry. I think that’s it at the moment. We’ve covered nearly everything. And we did note in the chat that these questions will be covered later in another info session.
That’s right. Yeah. So, if we do have any questions that aren’t covered, we’ll go back to you. So that’s an important note as well. So, as we go through and while the grant is open, we do get questions through our Grants Enquiries. As we get those questions, we do provide the question and the answer on our website through an FAQ so that everybody gets the same information and it’s equitable. So, we’ll be putting up all the information that we get asked as we go, so make sure you jump on there and check from time to time.
Ki, there’s just one more that’s come through.
Q: Will there be future rounds of this funding if we’re not ready to put in an application now?
We can’t guarantee that there will be. It really depends on whether or not the funding is expended.
But we usually have. I mean we’ve had grants running for many years. We don’t have any in this particular cycle, but there might be in the future.
That’s all the questions at the moment.
I think it’s probably going to take longer than 15 minutes to go through the application, so we might just leave it there actually, I think.
Kristy, have you got anything additional you want to add to let anyone know?
I don’t think so. I won’t go through the application, but I can show you at least what the page looks like. What do you think Ki?
I’ll just share my screen.
So Ki, let me know if you can see that.
Great. So, this is the front page of the application. So, I’m logged in here. You’ll have to obviously create an account, and you can then see your submissions. This is the first page. So asterisk indicates a required field. We’ve got information on eligibility here, so you can review that. And then it’s a series of yes/no questions for eligibility, and then once you’ve done that, you’ll get to the project readiness assessment. You click through next page. If you haven’t answered all the questions on one page, you won’t be able to – or all the mandatory questions sorry I should say – you won’t be able to progress to the next page. One thing to note is that the eligibility check, if you’ve ticked something that’s not eligible, it won’t actually tell you unfortunately you are not eligible and you can’t progress. It will just come up with an error field. So that’s just something to note as you go through. And again, any questions that you have, you can reach out to our Grants Enquiries team. So that’s what it looks like. I’ll just stop sharing.
So, we might just end it there I think. And if you have any further questions, you can call our Grants Enquiries line or send them an email through. Any questions that you have, if you can put them in writing, that’s better for us, so that we can give you a really good answer and provide that answer then to other people that might have the same question.
So, thank you.
Sorry Ki. We’ve got a few more questions that have come through. Lorraine, do you want to take those?
Yeah. Just a quick one.
Q: Would synthetic textile products be covered under the Recycling Modernisation Fund?
Yeah. So, textiles are considered under the fund. So that includes synthetic. Yep.
And someone’s asked about using - - -
Lorraine, if I could just jump in there just to clarify. Textiles are only included under the Recycling Victoria Infrastructure Fund, not the Commonwealth co-funded Recycling Victoria Recycling Modernisation Fund.
And someone has asked do we have a feel for how many hours work would be involved in completing the application. So, Ki, can you answer that?
I don’t know. It depends on the complexity of your project. So, if you have a quite straightforward, simple project, I’d imagine it would take you perhaps a couple of hours. But if you need to go and get evidence together, and if you need to start working with partners, project partners, getting letters from project partners, then it would probably require you to put a little bit more time into it.
Also, a question about using consultants to assist with the applications, and we’ve responded in the chat that that is acceptable.
Yep. We encourage you to go and get support as well if you don’t have the resources to do it.
I think that’s the final questions.
Alright. Fantastic. So, thank you very much everyone for joining today, and thank you for your questions as well. Any questions that you ask helps everyone else as well. So, I’ll just give it over to Molly for some closing comments. Thank you very much.
No worries. Thanks Ki and Kristy and Lorraine and Em, that’s been great. And I hope everybody that’s dialled in has got some useful guidance and information about the two different funds. It can sometimes seem a bit daunting, but it’s definitely worth it if your project ends up being recommended and successful. So please reach out if you’ve got any questions. That’s why we’ve got our Grants Enquiries and our investment facilitation services available to try and help clarify some of these complexities and questions as well. But the grant guidelines and application form definitely have all the information that you need, and I recommend that you take some time to really read through those and understand what’s being asked of you. And so, we wish you all the best of luck, and we’ll probably see you at the next session hopefully. So, thank you for your time, and have a lovely Easter.
Thanks everyone. Bye.
[End of transcript]
Below you will find the questions we have received from interested parties and our responses.
We have only listed questions and answers that are not addressed in the program guidelines.
Are waste to energy projects eligible for funding?
No, waste to energy projects are not eligible under these funds.
In line with the waste hierarchy set out in the Recycling Victoria policy, recycling materials for higher order use is being prioritised in this round of funding.
A separate funding stream will be made available for waste to energy projects soon.
Subscribe to receive alerts about future grants and funding.
If one component of the project includes waste to energy conversion is the project eligible for funding?
Yes. If your proposed project includes multiple components, funding can only be used for eligible components.
For example, if your project is to process plastic food packaging for recycling and you then use the food biproduct to produce energy, Government funding and your co-contribution can only be applied to infrastructure and equipment related to the plastic packaging component.
Project outcomes included in your application and measured post-project completion (e.g. expenditure, capacity, jobs and reduction in waste to landfill) must relate to eligible components only and exclude any waste to energy outcomes.
I have a smaller scale project, should I still apply?
Yes. The Fund seeks to maximise public value and return on investment in the industry by supporting projects that meet or exceed the minimum co-contribution requirement for funding. Co-contributions and the lack of funding caps are not intended to discourage applications in respect of smaller scale projects that demonstrate public value (and which also meet the co-contribution requirement). SV encourages projects of all sizes.
Is there a minimum tonnage of waste that will be considered?
No. Return on investment will be a key consideration of the assessment panel and will be measured on a dollar per tonne basis.
Is solvent waste considered organic waste?
No. Solvents are considered hazardous waste and will not be considered under this funding.
Is funding available for projects that divert materials from landfill by creating an alternative, e.g. alternatives to plastic packaging?
No. Funding alternatives to the eligible materials is not one of the objectives of these funds. There are not currently any funding opportunities for this purpose. Subscribe to receive alerts about future grants and funding.
Will funding exclude projects based on stockpiles?
Funding is not intended to focus on projects to recover stockpiles. Projects that have secondary benefits (e.g. potential to support Victoria to process existing stockpiles) will be considered, providing the application demonstrates how it meets the objectives of the program.
Are synthetic textile products covered under the Recycling Modernisation Fund?
Synthetic textiles are not subject to any of the export bans and are therefore not eligible under the Recycling Modernisation Fund.
They are eligible under the Recycling Victoria Infrastructure Fund.
What does it mean that “projects must source more than 50% of materials from Victoria”?
This means that at least 50% of the waste feedstock materials that will be processed at your facility must be sourced from Victoria. It does not refer to the materials used to build the facility or equipment.
Are projects eligible for funding if the site has not yet been secured?
Yes. Projects that do not yet have a confirmed site are eligible for funding. However, site selection is a key indication of project readiness, so if you have not yet secured or settled on a site, you will need to detail in your application planned steps to secure a site, and how any risks (e.g. to delivery timeframes) will be managed.
Will research institutions and/or research and development projects be eligible for funding?
Under RVIF Materials, funding is only available for infrastructure projects.
RV-RMF allows for trial projects to increase use of recyclable or recycled materials in manufacturing and/or infrastructure. However, to be eligible for funding, you must be a business, not-for-profit or local government that has existing reprocessing and remanufacturing facilities in Victoria or are proposing a new facility to be located in Victoria. If this does not apply to you, you would need to partner with an eligible organisation with an existing or proposed facility.
Is timber reprocessing eligible for funding under either fund?
No, The RV-RMF is to support the export ban of waste materials (paper, cardboard, plastics glass and tyres) and the RVIF Materials funding is to deliver on the Recycling Victoria – a new economy Policy (RV) outcomes. Timber is not one of the priority materials outlined in the RV policy and is therefore not one of the priority material streams under RVIF Materials. This funding is specifically seeking investment in organics processing infrastructure focused on increasing the recovery of food and garden organics related to the kerbside collection reforms under RV.
Is pre-owned equipment eligible under the funding program or does equipment need to be new?
Yes, pre-owned equipment is eligible for funding. Applicants will need to include with their application evidence that the equipment will not delay the progress of the project and will be commissioned and fully operational by the agreed completion date. Applicants should allow time to order and receive any replacement parts and specialised expertise required. Pre-owned equipment should be functional for the life of the project (at least 15 years). Applicants should include any warrantee or maintenance information in their application.
Is the leasing of equipment eligible expenditure under these funds?
Are the costs of trials to establish the operation of the process; once any equipment has been installed; eligible expenditure?
No, the costs of trials to establish the operation of the process once equipment has been installed is not an eligible expenditure.
Are salary and wage cost for employee’s time directly engage in the project eligible expenditure?
No, ongoing salary and wage costs for existing employees are not eligible project expenditure, even if they are directly engaging in the project.
Is contracted labour an eligible expense?
Yes. Contract labour used to install new plant and equipment is an eligible project expenditure as part of the applicant’s co-contribution.
We are an Australian company with international ownership. Are we considered a domestic or international applicant? In the related entities section, do we need to list all overseas companies under the same ownership or just the Australian related entities?
If you have an ABN and operate in Australia, you are considered a domestic applicant. Provide details of the Australian Related Entities only and attach the overall corporate structure to your application.
How long does the application process take?
This depends on the current status and complexity of your project. Filling out the application itself may take a few hours for simple projects. However, you may need additional time to gather the required supporting evidence, especially from other project participants (if applicable).
Generally, we suggest you review the full application at least 3 weeks prior to the application closing date, to gauge how long you will need to complete it to the required standard.
Can we engage consultants to complete or assist with my application?
Yes. You are welcome to engage assistance with your application, including commissioning a consultant. Please ensure the consultant is available to answer any follow up clarifications after the application close date.
Can I submit multiple applications under the same ABN, either at the same site or different sites?
Yes. There is no limit on how many applications can be submitted from the same organisation, or how many projects can be funded for each organisation. A single business can submit more than one application if it has multiple projects that meet the eligibility criteria.
Applicants must be able to:
Can I apply if my project will commence before the required start date?
Projects that have commenced construction before signing the funding agreement are not eligible. However, applicants may commence planning, design and pre-construction activities (e.g. site clearing) prior to the announcement of their application outcome. This is at the applicant’s own financial risk.
Will there be future rounds of funding available under these funds?
At this stage there are no specific plans for future rounds. If the current round is undersubscribed, then unallocated funds will be used for another round.
What is the difference between the RV-RMF and the Australian Government’s Modern Manufacturing Initiative and National Manufacturing Priorities?
As part of its Modern Manufacturing Strategy, the Australian Government has identified National Manufacturing Priorities that focus on areas of comparative advantage and strategic importance.
To support these priorities, the recently announced $1.3 billion Modern Manufacturing Initiative (MMI) will help relevant Australian manufacturers scale up, collaborate and commercialise. Recycling and Clean Energy manufacture is one of the priority areas. The key differences between the two funds are outlined below. It is possible that manufacturing projects are eligible for both funds. It should be noted that for RV-RMF, funding contributions from other levels of government can not form part of applicants’ co-contribution.
Projects must address the materials impacted by the national waste export bans (certain categories of paper and cardboard, plastics, glass and tyres). Projects must be infrastructure related but can be for new or upgraded sorting, processing, manufacturing or remanufacturing capability
Projects must be late stage manufacturing, focused on recycling and clean energy (and 5 other priority areas). Any materials are eligible.
Facilities must be located in Victoria and source at least 50% of feedstock from Victorian sources.
Facilities can be located anywhere in Australia.
No caps on grant amount, up to two thirds of eligible project expenditure
Grants of between $1 million to $20 million, up to 50% of the eligible project expenditure.
Program run by Victorian Government, applications are assessed by the Victorian Government, subject to final approval by the Australian Government.
Program run and application assessed by the Australian Government.