Q: How is ‘commencement’ of a project defined?
A: For the purposes of this partnership program, commencement of a project is defined as the time at which construction activity commences. For example, when the public would see physical onsite activities (not the planning/design phase).
Q: When do projects need to be completed by?
A: There is no required completion date for projects in recognition that the completion date could vary depending on the nature of the project. However, preference will be given to projects that can be completed within 2 years. Councils will also need to demonstrate that the project’s timeline reflects an efficient and timely delivery of the project. Regard will also be given to councils that propose to stage/time projects with other councils in order to access required trades.
Q: Council has approval for Commonwealth funding towards a project. Can we still apply for a local government infrastructure partnership program grant?
A: It depends on whether funding sources for the total project cost have been approved/budgeted. For example:
- Projects with a shortfall in funding will be eligible for program support. For example, approved Commonwealth funding is for 40% of the project cost, council has budgeted 40%, and there is a shortfall of 20% without which the project cannot proceed. Council can apply for program support for 20% of the project cost.
- Projects that are fully funded by a mix of already approved Commonwealth funding and council (i.e. the remainder of the project cost is in the Council’s 2020-21 budget), will be ineligible for partnership support.
- Projects that had secured full project funding but now have a cost pressure will be ineligible for support. For example, Commonwealth funding commitment of 40% and council budgeted 60% of the project cost (representing a fully funded and budgeted project), but costs have increased such that the project cost is greater than originally budgeted. This project is ineligible for program support.
- Projects can be staged such that a further stage of a development is eligible where the council can demonstrate that that stage is not scheduled to commence and is yet to source sufficient funding, i.e. an earlier stage of the project with Commonwealth funding will not preclude a subsequent stage from applying for program support.
Q: Council’s proposed project is to construct a multi-purpose building with council administrative offices and a community library. Is the project eligible for funding?
A: Projects, or parts of projects, relating to council administrative premises are ineligible for funding. Projects that include both community facilities as well as council administrative premises will only be eligible for that part that relates to the community facilities. For example, if the council administrative premises represents 40% of the total build, and the library 60%, the council is able to seek a grant of 30% of the total build (representing 50% of the eligible component).
Q: Does the program only apply to council owned assets?
A: No. A council may partner with the private sector to deliver eligible community facilities that would be unviable for the private sector to deliver without government support, provided all other eligibility criteria are met. For example:
- A partnership between a council and sporting club to upgrade club assets would be eligible, provided it meets the criteria that it does not largely result in commercial profits to private parties.
- A partnership between the private sector and a council/s to develop eligible community facilities that would be unviable for the private sector to deliver without government support would be eligible for program support, provided it is predominantly not for profit. For example, affordable housing owned by a non-government organisation that supports attracting key temporary workers would be eligible for program support.
- Projects that upgrade state government assets leased to local government are eligible under the program unless there is a separate grant program related to assets of that nature.
- Projects focussed on improving private infrastructure that are likely to increase the private operator’s commercial profits are ineligible for program support (for example, development of a hotel).
Projects with private sector partnership are still required to meet all eligibility criteria, including demonstrating how the project will contribute to economic growth of the region, or support the Government’s Growth State agenda, or improve local infrastructure facilities for businesses and community organisation to enable them to grow in the future, or upgrade key community facilities.
Q: Can councils that have applied for funding from the Regional Growth Fund also apply for funding under this program?
A: Projects funded under other State government programs are ineligible for funding under this program. This does not preclude a council from applying for funding from various State Government programs, provided only one grant is ultimately accepted (ie. if successful for both Regional Growth Funding and the Local Government Infrastructure Partnership grant).
Councils would need to decide which of the programs to accept funding from.
It is a matter for councils to decide whether to apply for one or both State Government grant programs.
Q: Where a council is partnering with a third party, can it contribute land as its eligible contribution?
A: No. A council’s land contribution will not be considered an eligible contribution toward the total project cost. The eligible contribution will be the council’s funding contribution.