On this page
We note the funding agreement hyperlinks on the website and guidelines were incorrect and this was amended on 8 February 2021. There is a Short Form Funding Agreement for Stream 1 grants, and a General Funding Agreement for Stream 2 grants. Please ensure you have reviewed and accepted the relevant terms and conditions for your project before submitting your application.
We held information sessions 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 ‘Information Session: Recycling Victoria Communities Fund’, ‘Candyce Presland’, ‘Tuesday 9 February 2021’, ‘Sustainability Victoria’] [The visuals during this webinar are of a PowerPoint Presentation being played on screen, with speakers appearing via video to the side of the screen]
And actually, I’ve just been given a reminder. If you have questions that you would like to ask, please post them as soon as you would like in to the Chat box to the right hand side of your screen, as we will start to field and have a look at answers to those questions. So as soon as you’ve got a question, please put them in the box. And in order to do that, you just need to go to the top right of your screen, and there is a question mark icon. So just click on that and post your questions.
Okay everybody, I am going to make a start and start today’s session. So I am going to begin by welcoming everyone. Thank you for making the time to come to the RV Communities Fund session today.
My name is Candyce Presland, and I’m the Manager of the Households Team here at Sustainability Victoria. I’ve worked on various programs at SV for over a decade now, mostly in the waste and resource recovery space, and prior to this, I delivered community outreach programs in the not for profit sector, and also I have contributed to community services within a Victorian local government. I am extremely committed to tackling climate change and working with passionate people like yourselves in order to do so.
I’d also like to now introduce the rest of the team that are here with me today. So we have the RV Communities Fund team. So I have Alice Young-Drew, our Program Officer, and you will get to hear from Alice shortly. I’ve also got Andrea Pape, the Program Lead for the program, Nadia Boyce, our Communications Partner, and today we are also joined by the RV Councils Fund team. So we have Grace Rogerson, our Program Officer, and Linda Duffy, the Program Lead.
Just to let you know we are recording this session today, and it will be published on SV’s website and sent to attendees after the session today. You can ask questions via the My Questions chat box to the right of your screen, and as I mentioned earlier, if you’re confused as to how to ask a question, there is an icon to the top right of your screen with a question mark in it. Just click in that and you can type your question in to the chat.
As there are almost 200 people, or actually there’s almost 300 people signed up for today’s session, so for that reason we may not get to all of your questions, however we will endeavour to answer them via the Information Bulletin on the SV website. And just another reminder. We update information on the SV website and via Information Bulletins on a regular basis, and so I encourage you to look at that information regularly, just to make sure that you’re getting the most up to date information.
So I now want to start by acknowledging the traditional owners of the lands on which we are meeting today, the Wurundjeri and Boon wurrung peoples, and to pay my respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and the Elders of the nations upon which you are all tuning in to from today. I acknowledge that we live and work on the lands of the most sustainable culture in the world, and that the unique knowledge systems of Aboriginal people and their contributions to our understanding of climate change and our environment are being slowly belatedly recognised. At SV we are working towards Indigenous inclusion in our program design and workplace and more generally, and welcome your support and/or guidance as we go on this journey.
So on the screen you’ll see the agenda for today’s session. So we will talk you through what a circular economy is, a little bit about the Recycling Victoria policy. Alice will also update you on the Recycling Victoria Communities Fund and give you all the important details that you need to know, including how to apply and a checklist, and then we’ll have plenty of time at the end of the session, roughly about half an hour, for you to ask questions and for us to provide answers to those questions. I’ll just reiterate there are lots of people potentially in the session today, and so we will do our best to get through the questions, however we may not be able to do that, and we will provide an update on the SV website.
So what is a circular economy? There may be people here today who are all too familiar with waste creation being a linear process. So we create a product, and as consumers we buy that product, we use it, and when we’re finished, we put it in the bin where it ultimately ends up in landfill. Now I found a definition today from Zero Waste Scotland. A circular economy is part of the solution to our global climate emergency, one in which product services and systems are designed to maximise value and minimise waste. A circular economy is all encompassing for life and business, where everything has value and nothing is wasted. In simple terms, it’s explained as make, use, re-make, as opposed to make, use and dispose of.
Now I’m sure I don’t need to tell any of you that this is a really big and complex issue, and there are no quick and easy fixes. At present, Australians have one of the largest material footprints in the world at 35 tonnes per person. That’s ten tonnes or 40% higher than the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom and Chile. We also know Victorians are dedicated recyclers, however we also know we must enable Victorians to avoid creating waste, and to ensure that we can get more value from our precious and finite resources. Our end goal is to reduce the environmental impacts of production and consumption, to enable economic growth through the productive use of resources, to avoid waste through good design, and to recover materials so that they can continue to be used in the future.
Now just to a quick overview of the Recycling Victoria policy. Over the next decade, Recycling Victoria, a $380 million circular economy policy and action plan, will fundamentally overhaul the way we avoid, minimise, reduce, re-use and recycle. Recycling Victoria will transform Victoria’s recycling sector, generate jobs, create a new economy, drive investment and innovation to reduce waste. The policy aims to reduce waste generation by 15% per capita, and to reduce organic waste to landfill by 50% by 2030.
The goals of Recycling Victoria are to design to last, repair and recycle, use products to create more value, recycle more resources and reduce harm from waste. As such, the Victorian Government will fund councils and community organisations to reduce waste over the next decade, starting with a $14.6 million investment over the next four years. Through this funding you can ensure that your communities choose waste free products, re-use materials and maintain and repair the goods that we have. If you’d like to know more about Recycling Victoria, there is a link to the policy shown at the bottom of this slide.
The waste hierarchy. Understanding the waste hierarchy is important, as it shows us the most impactful ways to transition to a circular economy and away from a linear economy. At the top of the hierarchy we avoid, because avoiding creating waste in the first place will have a much bigger impact than any other intervention. As we move down the hierarchy, there are other interventions, such as the re-use of materials, repair and recycling and composting, that are important, however the main intent of this funding is to avoid and minimise waste.
So before I pass over to Alice, I just wanted to reiterate a couple of things from the presentation thus far. The Recycling Victoria Communities fund is aimed at the top end of the waste hierarchy. This fund is for projects that avoid, minimise, re-use, repair, recycle and compost. If your project has a primary focus of litter clean up, we recommend that you look for other opportunities for funding, and there will be other programs potentially launched by government over the next few months which may better address your particular project or program.
So now I’m going to pass over to Alice, who will run you through the important aspects of how to apply for funding. So over to you thanks Alice.
Thanks Candyce. And hi everybody. I am Alice Young-Drew. I’m the Program Officer for the RV Communities Fund. A bit of background about me. I’ve been with SV for about nearly three years now, and regarding my involvement in community organisations, back in Wellington, New Zealand, I used to volunteer for a community organisation that repurposed food from supermarkets, restaurants and cafes in the CBD area. And I am a big believer that community organisations play such a crucial role in moving Victoria’s economy from the linear to the circular.
So let’s dive into it. Okay. So the Recycling Victoria Communities Fund supports communitybased projects that empower the community to reduce waste. These projects must deliver one or more of the following objectives. Reduce waste generation, reduce non-organic material going to landfill by repurposing through local community initiatives, reducing organic material going to landfill by repurposing through local community initiatives, reducing the sources of plastic pollution, litter and illegal dumping. These projects must also boost Victoria’s economy through local circular economy initiatives, grow new businesses in new ways, and/or create new jobs.
So moving in to the funding available through this fund, there are two types of grants available. In Stream 1 grants, which are between $25,000, which is our minimum, and $59,000, these projects must be delivered within a 12 month time period. Now Stream 1 grants are for localised community projects that benefit one or more communities. Now Stream 2 grants, which are between $60,000 and then our maximum $250,000, these projects must be delivered within an 18 month period. Now Stream 2 grants are for large scale initiatives delivered to communities in a wide geographic area. So potentially this could include one local government area or a region, or they could be all across Victoria. Now for any grant over $59,000, which are Stream 2 grants, the lead applicant must be operating for a minimum of two years. And of course all projects must take place in and service Victoria.
Now who can apply? To be eligible as a lead applicant, you must be a community group, charity, not for profit organisation or a social enterprise. So we will be asking you to include evidence with your application to show that your organisation is eligible. So for example, this could be maybe a charity certificate from the Australian Charities and Not for Profits Commission, the ACNC, it could be a current membership or accreditation with a social enterprise, peak body or association, or it could be another type of constitute document you may have.
Now we are strongly encouraging our lead applicants to form partnerships with other organisations to support the delivery of your project and maximise its impact in the community. Now lead applicants can form partnerships with any organisation. So this could be for example a local government, it could be an Aboriginal corporation, it could be a commercial business, it could also be other community groups, not for profit organisations and social enterprises.
We also encourage our applicants to contact their respective regional Waste and Resource Recovery Group, your WRRG, to discuss your proposal. Now your WRRGs can support your organisation with their application, but of course they can’t recommend the projects for funding. The contact details for all the WRRGs in Victoria can be found on Sustainability Victoria’s website.
Now going in to co-contribution. So the minimum contribution needs to be $1 to every $5 granted. So that’s $1 from the applicant to be $5 granted from Sustainability Victoria. Co-contributions can be provided as a financial or in-kind contributions by the applicant or their project partners. Up to 100% of the co-contribution can be in-kind. Now for more information on in-kind contributions, please refer to our guidelines, where we give a definition of in-kind and also some examples of what could be in-kind contributions.
Now going into what can be funded. Now on the slide, this is just a quick snapshot of what can be funded, so please have a look in the program guidelines for a more comprehensive list. So we’ve got dedicated project management costs, marketing, advertising and promotional costs, consultancy or contract work required for the project, demonstration projects, demonstration sites or educational expenses, the leasing of equipment if it’s directly related to the project, community education activities, project related travel expenses, capital purchased if they’re directly related to the project, insurance costs related to the project, project site leasing costs, permit, licensing, approval costs, of course all associated with the project.
So into what won’t be funded. Again, I’ve just put a quick snapshot there on the screen, but feel free to refer to our program guidelines for a more comprehensive list. Now as Candyce mentioned before, this fund is for projects that meet the fund objectives of avoiding, minimising, re-using, reducing, composting and recycling waste. So litter or illegal dumping projects that have a sole focus on clean up, like the disposable end of the waste hierarchy, would not be funded. It is expected that the focus of the litter or illegal dumping projects is more on the litter prevention, so at the top of the waste hierarchy, the avoiding and minimising, re-using, reducing, recycling waste etcetera.
Wages or salaries for existing staff, although these can be in-kind contributions, so refer to the guidelines. Operating costs (electricity, water and other utilities), research or development projects, business case development or feasibility studies, the purchase of vehicles or the purchase of land, and of course projects that have been awarded funding through other Recycling Victoria projects administered by Sustainability Victoria. So of course refer back to the guidelines for a more comprehensive look at that list.
Great. So on to the assessment criteria. Now this will be a competitive and merit-based assessment. So what will be asking from you in the application? So we’ll be asking you the what. We’ll be asking you to describe your project to us and how your project fits with the fund objectives of reducing waste generation, reducing non-organic and organic material going to landfill, reducing plastic pollution, litter and illegal dumping, as well as boosting Victoria’s circular economy, helping businesses grow in new ways and/or creating new jobs.
We will also be asking you questions such as what’s the size of your project, what behaviour are you aiming to change, how many people will be engaging with your project, as well as some other questions, so we can get a full understanding of what you plan to do. We will be asking you who? Who are you as the lead applicant? What projects have you delivered before? What are your skills and your experience, as well as your capacity? Who are your project partners, and how will you work together to achieve your project? We’ll be asking you why? Why does Victoria need your project? How will your project provide for example value for money? Maybe create more jobs? For example, how will it help householders save money etcetera in Victoria?
And we’ll be asking you how? We want you to walk us through how you will carry out your project. We want you to tell us about how your project is commercial, feasible and capable of being delivered. We’ll be asking you questions such as how will you get the community involved and build community participation over time? How will you evaluate your project’s success? And how will you be measuring materials your project has diverted or repurposed from landfill?
So how do you apply online? So first of all, visit our web page, the Recycling Victoria Communities Fund on sustainability.vic.gov.au, and then under the Application Process section of our web page, you just click ‘Apply online’ and you’ll be taken to what is called our SmartyGrants page, which looks like this on the bottom right here, and it will ask you to make an account with SmartyGrants before you start your application. Now the great thing about this is that you can put your information for your application in, you can save it, you can logout, you can log back in, add more information as you go.
Now checklist before you apply. So first of all we want to make sure you read and understand the fund guidelines. We want you to read and agree to comply with SV’s Funding Agreement Terms and Conditions and Terms of Participation. Now something to note is that just yesterday we updated our Terms and Conditions online, so even if you’ve read them before, we’d really like you to go back and read them again, especially if you’re looking to apply for Stream 2 funding, which is over $59,000. Because we did find an error, so we’ve updated them now. So we strongly encourage you to go back and take another look.
We want you to contact your respective WRRG to discuss your proposal, and we’d also like you to read the Information Bulletin online, because we keep that constantly updated with frequently asked questions, because we want to make sure everyone is receiving exactly the same information. We want you to have your ABN handy and ready for the application, and we want you to have your evidence, so for example the certificate I was saying before, for example from the ACNC, to demonstrate the eligibility of the lead applicant ready to put in to your application.
And of course if you have any questions, we would like you to email firstname.lastname@example.org, and our Grants team will be getting back to you.
Lastly we have just a quick snapshot at the key dates. So applications opened on the 8th of January, an exciting start to the year. Information session is of course today on the 9th of Feb. Our applications close at 3:00pm on the 19th of March. So that’s a hard deadline, so make sure you get your applications in before that time. Now we’ll notify you of the outcome in June this year, and we also will have Funding Agreements established in June this year as well.
So we’ve come to the end of the RV Communities Fund information presentation. So now we’re going to jump into question time. So thanks everyone who’s already been putting your questions through in the Chat. We all look forward to answering your questions.
Over to you Candyce.
Thanks Alice. So just to give you an outline of how we’ll do the Q&A session, I’m going to go back and read out the questions that have come through, and then I’m going to hand it over to the team to answer those questions. So please keep those questions coming through. As I’ve said, we may not get to all of them today, but for those that we don’t get to, we will endeavour to make sure they’re answered in our FAQs, and that they’re posted on the website and in our Information Bulletins. So again, please do refer to those when you can and as often as you can if you’re planning to apply.
And so we will move to the first question here.
Q: If an application is unsuccessful for funding in year one, can we resubmit our application in future rounds?
Okay. So I’m going to hand over to the team to answer this first question.
Okay. I’m happy to jump in there. The answer is yes, provided that the organisation and the project obviously meet all the eligibility requirements. There will be an opportunity to obtain feedback if your application is unsuccessful, and I mean that feedback can obviously be used to improve your application for future rounds.
Thanks Alice. Okay. Moving on to question two.
Q: Can we apply for other funding from the Victorian Government for our project?
If the project fits the criteria and meets the objectives of more than one of the Recycling Victoria programs, you can apply for multiple programs, but you’ll only be awarded funding from just one program. So we’ll be checking which grants are going to which recipients from which fund, and making sure that multiple grants aren’t doubling up on projects.
Thanks Andrea. Okay. I’m going to move to the next question.
Q: I’m a council waste and resource recovery officer, and I just wondered whether councils can partner with community groups for this funding, and to co-deliver the projects?
Yeah. So there’s a section in the guidelines on partnerships. I’m just looking through what section it is. But councils are able to be a partner on a project, but the community group, provided it’s an incorporated association or an eligible legal structure, would need to be the lead applicant on that project. And so they’d be the contract holder in the Grant Agreement with SV.
And off the back of that, just to reiterate, we have said that partnerships can be with any organisation. So of course we’re aiming for the lead applicant to be the community group, the social enterprise, charity, a not for profit organisation. But yes, of course we encourage partnerships with any other organisation.
And any questions on eligible types of organisations to partner, I’d suggest you double check section 3.2 of the guidelines and just see what types of organisations are eligible.
Thank you. Thanks Alice and Andrea. There was a comment within the Chat.
Q: I can’t see anywhere the total funds for the communities fund and how much is allocated to this round.
So Andrea, I might hand over to you to answer this one.
Yeah. It’s a $5.4 million program, and we’re looking at probably allocating around $1.4 million in round one.
Thanks Andrea. Okay. Next question.
Q: Can you apply for a range, suite of projects that address the key selection criteria that build on your existing community recycling enterprise?
And that’s a question from Alison Skinner. Thanks Alison.
So normally we’d say if you had individual projects, we would say submit an application for an individual project. And I guess it depends on the value of the projects that you’re looking at Alison, and whether they’re all part of one big project or whether they’re individual. Obviously we’ve got a minimum amount of funding, which is $25,000, so it’s a tricky one to answer I guess. The fund won’t be providing grants to projects that have already commenced prior to signing the Funding Agreement. So it’s probably one that we’d need to take offline and look at how this connects with the other work that you’re doing and whether the projects are going to deliver the objectives of the fund.
Yeah. Definitely Andrea, back that answer. These projects aren’t for existing projects. They’re for new projects. So yeah, it is quite hard to give a very clear answer to that question without of course seeing the whole application.
Hi. It’s Candyce here. I think that is one that we’re saying we might need to take on notice. So we will do that.
And any questions that we take on notice we’ll be publishing in our FAQs on the website. So everyone will be able to see the response from SV on these questions.
Thanks Andrea. Okay. So next question from Fiona.
Q: Can the funding be used for a pilot project, for example raw materials, contracted work for developing sustainable workwear, uniform range for a local council?
It’s really difficult to make individual calls on a very brief project description like that, as to whether it would be eligible. If you are confident that (a) your organisation is eligible to apply, that your project will deliver the objectives of the fund, and that you can quantify the benefits of the project, so how many tonnes of material it might be diverting from landfill – you need to figure out whether your project is going to deliver the objectives of the fund. So we’re not able to make a call in this type of forum as to whether your project is eligible or not, but you’re probably a better gauge of that.
Okay. So next question I have here is from Richard.
Q: Please provide examples of in-kind contributions.
So Richard, we’ve got some examples in our guidelines as well actually, as well as a definition. So that could be for example time committed to the project from staff working on the project. It could be for example something that you already contribute, but you put a financial number on it. So I can actually read some exact examples for you.
Hold on just one moment. Okay. So in-kind contributions is a contribution of a good or a service other than money. So it could include, but of course not limited to, time spent on project activities by volunteers, donated goods or services related to the project, staff time to manage or deliver the project. What wouldn’t be counted as an in-kind contribution could be something like operating expenses that are not directly associated with the project, for example staff down time during the instalment of equipment or something that doesn’t relate to the project. But have a look at what we’ve put in our guidelines, and hopefully that gives you more of a sense of that.
Great. Thanks Alice. Okay. The next question we have is:
Q: Can a university apply?
In terms of is a school or a university eligible to act as a lead applicant? No. But they can partner with an eligible organisation to deliver the project. And also you’d need to look at where the benefits of the project are being delivered to. So the intent of this program is that the benefits of funded projects are realised in the broader community. So a project that’s focused on delivering benefits within a single school or within a university, it doesn’t serve that primary purpose and objective of the program. So schools and unis are able to act as a project partner, but they cannot lead an application.
Okay. We have another – well it could be a different Fiona. We have a question from Fiona.
Q: Is the cost of training of staff to upskill for what is required or needed for the pilot project covered?
That is something that we don’t have in our guidelines, what will and won’t be funded. I guess the assumption was that applicants would be already equipped to deliver their projects, but it’s certainly something that we can take on notice and have a chat with our Grants team about. So we’ll come back to you with an answer on that question.
And just to go off that, provided that this training of staff was directly related to what the project aimed to do, and also the objectives of the fund, yeah, we’d take a look into that of course. And for something like that, we would need to see the whole application as well to sort of make that call.
Yeah. It’s Candyce here, and I’ll add to that further. And I heard this answer, and I thought it was really fitting for this question. If that training is integral to the project, program and delivery, then I would think that it is. And an example that springs to mind is you’re recovering a particular product or textile that potentially you haven’t before, and perhaps there are particular OH&S requirements that require you to train up your staff. Then that kind of thing absolutely could be funded. But yes, with the team we’ll take that one on notice and come back anyway just to clarify that.
Okay. So next question from Jill and Sue.
Q: Is this a suitable project? Trees cut down from Vic Roads works, milled and made into outdoor garden furniture. This will be for community garden furniture, fences, etcetera, and other community areas.
I’d say to that, that question seems to have a couple of things in there. So you’re talking about the trees, and then you’re also talking about the community garden furniture, or you’re talking about the community garden itself. So I guess that could probably hit a couple of things. But I guess in regards to specific questions of would this be funded or would it not be funded as a project idea, it just always needs to relate back to the objectives of the fund. So does it reduce waste generation? Does it reduce non-organic or organic material going to landfill? Does it reduce the sources of plastic pollution or boost Victoria’s circular economy? And as Andrea mentioned before, you would know that from your project idea, so you’re probably the best person to judge that. But it is difficult to make a call without seeing the whole application to give a yes or no answer to something like that.
Okay. Next question is from Monica.
Q: Are existing staff regarded as such if they’ve been voluntary?
Are existing staff regarded as an in-kind contribution? Do you think that’s what it’s asking?
I think that it is. And look, Monica, if you needed to further clarify that, I’d encourage you to do that in the Chat box. But yes, I assume that’s the question.
Okay. So the grants will not support salaries or wages of existing staff. Those salaries and wages can be counted as the in-kind contribution towards a project. But volunteer hours as well can be counted as an in-kind contribution towards a project, so you need to calculate what those hours are worth, how many hours those volunteers are likely to invest in delivering the project, and then put a dollar figure on that volunteer effort. And again, the in-kind contribution from all applicants is required to be at least $1 for every $5 that SV provides through the grant. So it’s a really important question, and we do need to emphasise that all volunteer time in delivering these projects, please try and figure out how much that’s worth when you’re submitting your application.
That’s a great point. Thanks Andrea. We have got quite a few questions, so we’ll keep going through.
Q: Is Stream 2 applicable to multiple townships across a rural local government area?
And that’s from Seb.
Okay. Thanks Seb. Stream 2 grants are applicable to multiple local government areas, regions or across Victoria. So I guess what I was trying to mention in the funding overview is that Stream 1 is to benefit one or more communities, but for Stream 2, we really are looking for you to get multiple communities involved, which could be a region or it could be all across Victoria. So we are looking for projects that span across communities.
Great. Thanks Alice. And this is a great question from Alison Skinner.
Q: Will the funds be distributed across all of Victoria? At times regional communities are underrepresented?
I think we definitely want to see regional projects. We want to see a good spread of projects across Victoria. There’s great opportunities in regional communities for circular economy projects. Some opportunities only exist in rural communities. So we’re really keen to see a good spread of different project types, and as such a really good spread of funded projects across Victoria. So thanks Alison. That was a great question, and certainly we will be.
Next question is from Steve Parrearra.
Q: What is the criteria for the size of project? How do we define size?
Yeah. That’s a good question Steve. In your application we will be asking you questions such as what will your community participation look like, or how will you get your community involved, but then also things such as how much material is going to be diverted from landfill. So we are sort of asking you those questions so that you can tell us what you estimate the size of your project to be, and the impact that you think your project is going to have for example on behaviours as well. So I guess size is a pretty hard thing to define, because projects are all going to be so different on how they’re going to impact communities. But we are basing some of our questions so we can get an idea of that. So how are you going to impact behaviour, how many people are going to be involved, and the materials, that sort of thing.
And just to add to that Alice, we haven’t set a minimum tonnage or a minimum number of rubbish bags to be picked up. We’re not dictating what the minimum volume of waste to be diverted is, but we’re really keen to see your workings and your assumptions in how you figure out what the impact of your project is going to be. And it’s a competitive grant process, so projects will be compared across each other in terms of their impact and their engagement of communities. So it’s really up to you to demonstrate that in your grant application so that the evaluation panel understands what you’re aiming for and what your project is going to achieve.
Okay. So the next question I have is from Haza.
Q: My project is smaller than $25,000. Can I still apply?
Now our minimum grant is $25,000. So I guess that answers the question. That is our minimum grant.
What you could look at doing though is maybe taking on a project partner or another organisation that has a similar idea, or creating multiple projects across your community or across a region. So again, we are looking for impact with these projects. So maybe look at is there a way that you can team up with others to amplify your reach in the community and apply for more funding.
Thanks Andrea. This is an interesting question from Olivia.
Q: In regards to partnerships with not for profits, does SV have any corporate connections interested in partnering that you could offer as a network for conversations to kick off?
It’s Candyce here. I think I could probably answer that one, in that from a probity perspective, no, I can’t see that SV would be making that connection with potential grant recipients. And we can’t be seen to favour or prop up one project over another. So I’m going to answer that to say no, we wouldn’t be able to do that.
And also in saying that Candyce, we are encouraging you to speak to your local WRRGs, and your WRRGs can help you support your application as well. They know all these details about the fund as well. So if you wanted to have a conversation with them about is there anyone in the area that has your idea or something like that. They are people that you can have a conversation with about your application.
Thanks Alice. Okay. Next question.
Q: Hi there. Are infrastructure requirements needed for the project, such as concrete slab? Are they eligible? Can we submit more than one application?
I’ll answer the second bit first. Yes, you can, provided that the projects are eligible, an eligible type of project that meets the fund objectives. If you’ve got the time, you can write as many grant applications as you want.
The question about the concrete slab though, I know that we’ve listed plant and equipment as an eligible expenditure item. So capital purchases, eg infrastructure or equipment. Would that cover it Candyce do you think?
Possibly. Hi. It’s Candyce back again. I think again, probably encourage you to re-read the guidelines. If it’s integral to the project, my understanding it may be, and so long as it’s not also funded somewhere else, particularly through RV. Alice, I don’t know if you’ve got anything else to add to this one?
I mean I’d say capital purchases yes, can be funded, but if it’s integral to the project. So it would have to be obviously very needed for the project to be successful. So I guess it’s another one of those without seeing the entire application, it is hard to say a yes or no. But yes, I definitely encourage you to look at the guidelines and have a look to make sure it fits the objectives of the fund of course and that it is integral to your project.
And it also depends on who owns the land where the slab is being put down. So the fund won’t be paying for infrastructure or assets owned and serviced by say local government or a government organisation that manages public land. So if you have a look at section 3.4 and 3.5 of the guidelines, that should help you figure it out. But we can certainly give a longer response in the bulletin.
Okay. We have lots of questions, which is fantastic. So there’s a couple I can answer quite quickly, so I’m going to do that just to get through some of these. Shannon Meade asked:
Q: Sorry I came in late, and you may have already covered it, but is it a five to one ratio?
Yes, it is. So for every dollar invested by the grantee, SV would contribute $5. So $1 from the grantee, $5 from SV. And that $1 can actually be an in-kind contribution as well. So hopefully I’ve answered that for you Shannon.
The next question is from Joanne.
Q: Can eligible projects include replication/expansion of existing projects, as we’ve been operating for 15 years?
So if your existing project has proven successful and it’s demonstrated to be a model or an enterprise or a project that works really well, then if you’re replicating that across multiple sites, then that’s the kind of scaling up that we want to see through the program. So the fund won’t pay for projects that are happening already, as mentioned before, but if you’re creating something new with the grant, then certainly that’s eligible.
Okay. Back to me again. There really are a lot of questions, so I’m going to try and see how quickly we can get through these in the last few minutes.
Q: Can a project partner fill in the application form, or does it have to be the lead applicant?
I would say that because this is the RV communities fund and we are aiming at community groups, not for profits, social enterprises and charities, that yes, the lead applicant should be filling in the application form. They are the lead applicant after all, so yes, would definitely say that the lead applicant should be the one filling in the application.
And also the lead applicant’s going to be the contract holder as well, so they need to be across the detail of this program and what it’s requiring and what’s being proposed. So it’s in the lead applicant’s interest to be involved in the project, and that should start from the beginning in writing the grant application.
Thank you Andrea. Lisa Linton’s asked the question:
Q: Can you give us ideas as to how we can get some stats on landfills, amounts of different categories, such as clothing and books?
Lisa, I think we might take that one on notice, unless the team answers that one to you directly. Next question.
Q: Is the objective of the grants to allow the chosen project to be commercially viable at the end of the 12 or 18 month period? Is this a component of the key selection criteria?
We’re keen to – and from memory it is asked in the application form – how will your project remain viable over the long term. So are you looking at ways to build into your project maybe a way of turning some income, or some way to keep it operating after the term of the Grant Agreement is finished? Yeah. We’re aiming to create a circular economy in Victoria by partnering with the community in this program, and we’re not going to achieve that if we’re just funding a bunch of stop/start projects. Of course a lot of community projects will taper off near the end of the funded period, but if you’re able to find ways to continue delivering benefits beyond the life of the grant, then that’s a real strength in your project.
Did you have anything to add there Alice?
I think you said it pretty well. It’s not specifically something that we are looking for in the key criteria, but what it comes down to is that we want to know that these projects are successful and they obviously aren’t going to stop right at the end of when their funding finishes. So I guess more the answer to that question is we want to have the confidence that these projects will be incredibly successful, and if that means that they are commercially viable, well then that adds to the success of the project.
Okay. This one’s a quick one I would say. May has asked:
Q: Is it possible for an organisation to submit an application for Streams 1 and 2?
The answer is yes, if you of course are eligible and you can meet the co-contribution requirements. You are able to do that. Of course we’re not going to make both applications successful, but of course if you have a project idea that fits within Stream 1 and you also have a project idea that fits within Stream 2, by all means feel free to send both applications in.
Okay. Thank you. Next question.
Q: Can we apply to this and one of the other grants on offer by SV, for example innovation fund?
Of course. Of course you’ll only be awarded one amount of SV funding, provided that you’re successful. We can’t award you twice. But if you want to apply for another SV grant, absolutely. Go for it. We encourage you to.
Okay. I am conscious of the fact that we’ve hit 2:57pm and there are still a bunch of questions in the chat. And so apologies in advance that we haven’t had time to get to all of your questions today. It’s really fantastic to see all these questions coming through. And we will endeavour to answer those questions and provide those answers back to you in the next Information Bulletin. As we said, please keep referring to the SV website, as we update documentation regularly and often. And I know Alice alluded to the fact that there was a minor error that had to be fixed up. So for those of you particularly going for the funding at the higher end of the spectrum, please do reread the guidelines.
But I’m going to finish us up for today. So thank you very much for giving us your time and sending us all of your excellent questions. Really, really, really appreciate it. And so I want to also thank the team for the work that they’ve done bringing these grants together, but also in setting up today’s session. And in particular, really want to thank Alice, Grace, and also Nadia, who’s done a lot of stuff in the back end to make this happen, and a contractor that we’ve got on board. So thanks Becks as well. So without further ado, we will finish up for today. But thank you for your time, and good luck with your applications.
Thanks so much everyone.
[Closing visual of slide text saying ‘Thank you’, ‘It’s up to all of us to help shape the State of the Future’, ‘f @SustainVic’, ‘t @SustainVic’, ‘in Sustainability Victoria’, ‘Sustainability Victoria’, ‘Victoria State Government’] [End of Transcript]
Thank you for your questions at the information session on 9 February 2021. Due to the high volume of questions received, some have been re-worded to benefit as many potential applicants as possible.
Please note that this being a competitive process, we are unable to review a draft or provide feedback on the potential merit of a project. We encourage applicants to consider and address how the project meets the eligibility criteria, and to describe how the project addresses the merit criteria outlined in the program guidelines and Application Form.
This page will be regularly updated, based on questions we receive.
In this section:
Can an education institution e.g. an early learning centre, kindergarten, school or university be a Lead applicant?
No, the RV Communities Fund is designed for communities, not for educational institutions. The Program seeks to create circular economy practices and benefits in the community, and grants will be awarded to projects that demonstrate potential for wide reach and impact, and broad community benefits.
For the purpose of this Program, SV will not accept grant applications from educational institutions. This includes early learning centres, kindergartens, primary schools, secondary schools and universities. While these institutions are ineligible to act as a Lead Applicant in a grant application, they are able to participate as a Project Partner in an application where the grant application is submitted by an eligible Lead Applicant.
For more details on partnerships, please see Section 3.2 Partnerships and collaborations of the program guidelines.
How do we demonstrate that we’re eligible to apply for this grant?
You will need to attach evidence with your application to show that your organisation is either a charity, a not-for-profit organisation, a community group or a social enterprise. This may include:
For more information on eligibility criteria, please see Section 3.1 Who can apply? and Section 4.2 Eligibility criteria of the program guidelines.
For more information on social enterprises, visit Business Victoria’s social enterprise page.
Do we need a current Australian Business Number (ABN) to be eligible for funding?
Yes, Lead Applicants must have a current Australian Business Number (ABN). Please see Section 4.2 Eligibility criteria of the program guidelines.
Can a Lead applicant partner with a council?
Yes, Lead applicants can form partnerships with councils to deliver the project. For more information on partnerships, please see Section 3.2 Partnerships and collaborations of the program guidelines.
Do you provide a definition of a social enterprise, charity and not-for-profit organisation?
Yes, we do. Please refer to Section 9. Definitions of the program guidelines.
Do I need an auspice? Who can act as an auspice if we need one?
If you have a great project idea but you do not meet the eligibility criteria, you will need to partner with an eligible organisation to apply for the grant. To be eligible to apply for funding, applicants need to be a charity, not-for-profit organisation, community group or social enterprise.
The eligible organisation will need to be the Lead Applicant for the project and if funded, would enter into the funding agreement.
We are a peak body for eligible community organisations, can we apply to deliver a project on behalf of some of our members?
Yes, provided that your organisation is a community group, not-for-profit organisation, charity or social enterprise.
My project will benefit multiple communities within one local government area. Should I be applying for Stream 1 or Stream 2 funding?
A project that benefits multiple communities within one local government area would be eligible for Stream 1 funding. To be eligible for Stream 2 funding, projects must benefit communities over a wide geographic area, such as multiple local government areas, regions or across Victoria.
For more information on Stream 1 and Stream 2 grants, please see Section 1. Funding overview of the program guidelines.
Can I receive a grant smaller than $25,000?
No, $25,000 is our minimum grant. Please see Section 1. Funding overview of the program guidelines. For more information on partnerships, please see Section 3.2 Partnerships and collaborations of the program guidelines.
What is the Fund’s total budget and how much will be allocated in the first round?
The Program’s total approved grant budget is $5 million. The expected allocation for this round is likely to be around $1.4 million, however the allocation for this round will be dependent on the number and quality of applications received. We will be in a position to know what remaining funding will be available for future rounds after all applications for this round have been assessed.
Will there be an opportunity for Stream 2 in the future?
Yes, both Stream 1 and Stream 2 grants will be offered in future rounds of the RV Communities Fund.
Are project-related travel expenses eligible for funding?
Yes. Please see Section 3.4. What will be funded? of the program guidelines.
Will this program fund digital infrastructure?
Yes, digital infrastructure that is integral to the project will be considered for funding.
Can the training of staff be funded?
If training of staff is integral to the delivery of your project, it could be considered for funding.
Will SV fund salaries for existing staff?
No, but these may be considered part of your in-kind contribution to the project. Please see Section 3.4 What will be funded? and Section 3.5 What will not be funded? as well as Section 9. Definitions for a definition of in-kind in the program guidelines.
Can funds be used for project management or contractor costs?
Project management and contractor costs are eligible expenditure items for grant funding if they are project-specific roles or directly related to implementation of the project. Please see Section 3.4 What will be funded? and Section 3.5 What will not be funded? of the program guidelines.
Which waste materials should we focus on for the grant?
Priority materials in the Victorian Government’s Recycling Victoria policy are glass, paper/cardboard, organics, textiles, e-waste, plastics and tyres. However, the Recycling Victoria Communities Fund is designed to provide tailored solutions to a community’s unique circumstances, so other non-priority materials may be considered for funding.
Will SV fund the cost of a lease to land or premises for the purposes of my project?
No. Please see Section 3.4 What will be funded? and Section 3.5 What will not be funded? of the program guidelines.
Can applicants speak to someone from Sustainability Victoria with specific questions about a possible proposal?
This being a competitive process, we are unable to review a draft or provide feedback on the potential merit of a project. We encourage applicants to consider and address how the project meets the eligibility criteria, and to describe how the project addresses the merit criteria outlined in the program guidelines and Application Form.
We recommend applicants speak to their respective Regional Waste and Resource Recovery Group (WRRG) to discuss their proposal. WRRGs can support organisations with their application but cannot recommend projects for funding. Please see Section 3.2 Partnerships and collaborations of the program guidelines where you will find a link to the WRRG’s contact details.
Can a Project partner fill in the application form on behalf of the Lead applicant?
The Lead applicant should fill in the application form. As the funding agreement will be signed by the Lead applicant, it is crucial that they are across all details of the program, their project and they understand and agree to comply with Sustainability Victoria’s Short Form Funding Agreement for Stream 1 grants, General Funding Agreement for Stream 2 grants, and Terms of Participation in Grant Programs for both streams.
What would be an example of in-kind contributions?
Please see Section 9. Definitions of the program guidelines.
How should I show proof of my project partner’s commitment to the project?
Applicants will be required to provide evidence of their project partner’s commitment to the project in the application form. For example, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and/or Letter of Agreement.
We have more than one project we’d like funding for. Can we submit more than one grant application?
Yes, provided that your organisation and projects meet the eligibility requirements. You will need to ensure that you can meet your co-contribution requirements for each project.
We have two project ideas. Can we apply for both Stream 1 and Stream 2?
Yes, provided that your organisation and projects meet the eligibility requirements. You will need to ensure that you can meet your co-contribution requirements for each project and submit separate applications for both Stream 1 and Stream 2.
If an application is unsuccessful for funding in year 1, can we re-submit our application in future rounds?
Yes, provided that your organisation and projects meet the eligibility requirements. There will be opportunity to obtain feedback if your application is unsuccessful and this can be used to improve your application for future rounds.
Can we apply for other funding from the Victorian Government for our project?
If your project fits the criteria and meets the objectives for more than one Sustainability Victoria funding program then you can apply from multiple programs, but you will not be awarded funding from more than one program for the same project.
You are encouraged to seek other sources of funding to contribute to this project, such as from your own organisation, your project partners or project supporters, other government or private sector grants.
Is the application form available in PDF?
Yes. Please visit our SmartyGrants page.
You will find a link under the title page ‘Download preview form.’ You can access the application form, without creating a SmartyGrants account. All applications must be submitted via SmartyGrants.
How do I calculate the value of my staff time for the purposes of quantifying my co-contribution?
Please see Section 9. Definition of the program guidelines for a definition of Full-Time Equivalent Employees (FTE) or the example budget table for further explanation.
Will late submissions be considered?
In order to be fair to all applicants, late applications will only be considered in exceptional circumstances. Requests for approval for a late application can only be considered if you make an application in writing prior to the grant closing date as stated under late applications in our Terms of Participation in Grant Programs. Examples of exceptional circumstances are outlined in the document.
Please note, it can take some time to upload the relevant documentation to support applications in SmartyGrants. For this reason, we recommend that you submit your application well ahead of the 3:00 pm deadline.
Can Sustainability Victoria provide feedback on my proposed project before I submit my application?
No, this being a competitive grant process and we are unable to review a draft or provide feedback on the potential merit of a project.
We encourage applicants to consider and address how the project meets the eligibility criteria, and to describe how the project addressed the merit criteria outlined in the program guidelines and application form.
When will we know if our grant application has been successful?
We will provide applicants with updates about the progress of applications as much as possible but cannot provide a definite approval/announcement date.
If my project cannot go ahead due to coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions, will we still receive the funding?
Grant payments will be performance-based and evidence of milestone completion will be required in order to receive funds. You are required to adequately assess risks to your project as part of your grant application, and show that you have measures in place to manage the impact of planned and unplanned risks.
If your project includes activities that could be impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions you will need to identify this in your application and outline measures you will take to manage this risk.
What is the role of the Regional Waste and Resource Recovery Groups (WRRG’s) and where can I find their contact details?
Applicants are encouraged to contact their respective Regional Waste and Resource Recovery Group (WRRG) to discuss their proposal. WRRGs can support organisations with their application but cannot recommend projects for funding. Please see Section 3.2 Partnerships and collaborations of the program guidelines where you will find a link to the WRRG’s contact details.
Where can I find other circular economy funding opportunities?
You can sign up to Sustainability Victoria’s grants and funding mailing list at the bottom of our Grants and funding page. For other funding opportunities, visit the Grants and programs page on the Victorian Government website.