Reef Rescue2013–14 Applicant guidelines and how to apply

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Reef Rescue2013–14 Applicant guidelines and how to apply

Reef Rescue2013–14Applicant guidelines and how to apply


Caring for our Country Reef Rescue 2013–14Applicant guidelines and how to applyFor further information, please visit the Caring for our Country website atwww.nrm.gov.au or call the Caring for our Country information line on 1800 552 008.Cover photos (L–R): Agriculture of Northern Queensland (Andy Heaney), Bananas, Far North Queensland (Andy Heaney),Marine area of Northern Queensland (Andy Heaney), Marine area of Northern Queensland (Andy Heaney).Internal header: Marine area of Northern Queensland (Andy Heaney)iiReef Rescue 2013–18—Applicant guidelines and how to apply


CONTENTSRead this important informationBefore you start your applicationPART 1—Introduction ......................................................................................................................11.1 Caring for our Country 11.2 Sustainable Environment stream 21.3 Sustainable Agriculture stream 21.4 The Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area 31.5 Reef Rescue 4PART 2—Priorities for investment ..................................................................................................62.1 Water Quality Grants and Partnerships (2013–18) 62.2 Systems Repair and Urban Grants (2013–18) 8PART 3—Budget and timeframes ................................................................................................. 113.1 What funding is available? 113.2 What are the key dates? 13PART 4—Eligibility criteria and what we will not fund .................................................................. 144.1 Eligibility of applicant 144.2 Eligibility of proposed project 144.3 What will not be funded 15PART 5—Application and assessment processes ........................................................................... 175.1 Preparation of applications 175.2 Application process 175.3 How will applications be assessed? 17PART 6—Assessment Criteria ........................................................................................................ 19PART 7—Preparing your application .............................................................................................. 21PART 8—Funding agreement requirements .................................................................................. 228.1 Grant conditions 228.2 Funding agreement 228.3 Monitoring and reporting 238.4 Project acquittal 24PART 9—Rights and Responsibilities ............................................................................................ 259.1 Applicants 259.2 The Australian Government’s rights 269.3 Confidentiality and privacy 26PART 10—Enquiries, feedback and complaints ............................................................................. 28PART 11—Key information sources ............................................................................................... 29ivviii


Read this important informationü These Reef Rescue Guidelines are intended toprovide applicants with information to applyfor funding under the Reef Rescue program ofthe Australian Government’s Caring for ourCounty initiative.ü Applicants must complete all relevantsections of the application form available atwww.nrm.gov.au.ü Use of the online application form is preferred.ü Applicants must submit a new application formfor each proposed project.× The Australian Government may, at any time,exclude an incomplete application form fromthe assessment process.× Applications will not be assessed if they:– are submitted after the closing time anddate; or– do not meet the eligibility criteria outlinedin these guidelines.ivReef Rescue 2013–18—Applicant guidelines and how to apply


Before you startyour applicationMake sure you provide the information weneed to establish the full merit of your project.Here are some things to consider that may helpyou prepare your application:• Eligibility criteria and assessment criteria forthis round of funding differ from previous ReefRescue funding rounds.• The geographic focus of Reef Rescueinvestment will continue to be the catchmentsof the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Areaas represented by the six natural resourcemanagement regions: Cape York, Wet Tropics,Burdekin Dry Tropics, Mackay WhitsundayIsaacs, Fitzroy and Burnett Mary. If you areuncertain whether your project proposalis within this area, you should contact theCaring for our Country information lineon 1800 552 008.• After reading these guidelines, consider whatyou want your project to achieve, your project’sscope, scale and value for public money.• Applicants can apply for Water QualityGrants and Partnerships (see Part 2.1 of theseGuidelines) and Systems Repair and UrbanGrants (see Part 2.2 of these Guidelines). Youmust submit a new application form for eachproposed project.• Ensure that you and your application meet theeligibility criteria in Part 4 of these guidelines.Ensure that all elements of your project areeligible for funding.• Your application must address the assessmentcriteria set out in Part 6 of these Guidelines.• Items not budgeted for in your application willnot be funded. Applicants should consider allaspects of their project and ensure they includeall relevant costs within their application.Consider obtaining quotes to assist in yourbudget preparation.• Consider whether partnerships and/orcollaborative arrangements could help achieveyour project goals.• Where appropriate, identify how yourproject links with other relevant AustralianGovernment policies and programs.• Consider how your project could bestrengthened by incorporating relevantplanning documents that support theAustralian Government’s broaderenvironmental and conservation objectives,such as, threat abatement and recovery plansestablished under the Environment Protectionand Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth)(EPBC Act).• Where relevant, seek advice from:– the Caring for our Country website:www.nrm.gov.au– the Caring for our Country information lineon 1800 552 008– the Department of Agriculture, Fisheriesand Forestry can provide advice aboutnational weeds and pests strategies:weedsandpests@daff.gov.au– your local Australian Governmentnatural resource management officer:www.nrm.gov.au/contact/officers.html– relevant experts– relevant authorities to ensure that yourproposed project is consistent withplanning, environmental guidelinesand regulations (this includes yourregional natural resource managementorganisation/s and/or other conservationplanning organisations)– local Indigenous community groupsand/or organisations.• Successful applicants who wish to receivefunding must enter into a funding agreementwith the Australian Government as outlinedin Part 8. Standard terms and conditionsfor funding agreements will be available atwww.nrm.gov.au. Applicants should seekappropriate advice to ensure that theyunderstand the agreement.• Funding may be subject to taxation, suchas GST. To discuss business tax issues youcan contact the Australian Taxation Officeon 13 28 69.v


viReef Rescue 2013–18—Applicant guidelines and how to apply


PART 1—Introduction1.1 Caring for our CountryCaring for our Country is an ongoing AustralianGovernment initiative that seeks to achieve anenvironment that is healthier, better protected,well managed, resilient and provides essentialecosystem services in a changing climate.The Australian Government will invest over$2 billion in the second phase of Caring forour Country 2013–18 which will supportland managers, community groups includingIndigenous groups, industry and localenvironment groups.This builds on the first phase of Caring for ourCountry 2008–2013, in which the AustralianGovernment invested over $2 billion in projects toprotect and build resilience in our environment.Under phase two, the initiative will be focusedunder two streams —a Sustainable Environmentstream and a Sustainable Agriculture stream.Caring for our CountrySustainable Environment streamSustainable Agriculture stream• Maintenance of ecosystemservices, including ecologicaland cultural values, now and intothe future• Protection of ourconservation estate• Enhanced capacity of Indigenouscommunities to conserve andprotect natural resources.• Sustainable production of food• Innovation in Australianagriculture and fisheries practices• Reduced impact of weeds andpests on agriculture• Improved management ofagriculture and fisheries and thenatural resource base• Skilled and capableLandcare community.1


1.2 SustainableEnvironment streamOne Land—Many Stories: Prospectus of Investment(the Prospectus) presents the AustralianGovernment’s framework for its investment inbiodiversity conservation and natural resourcemanagement through the Caring for our CountrySustainable Environment stream and the LandSector Package. The Prospectus outlines howthese initiatives will deliver environmental,social and economic benefits. It highlights thecommon goals of the suite of programs withinthese initiatives as well as the differences in theirapproaches and priorities.The Prospectus can be downloaded fromwww.environment.gov.au/prospectus.Reef Rescue will support activities that contributeto the strategic objectives and five year outcomesof the Sustainable Environment stream of Caringfor our Country:‘Maintenance of ecosystem services, includingthe ecological and cultural values, now andinto the future.’The protection of the Great Barrier Reef WorldHeritage Area is a key investment under thisstrategic objective. The State of the EnvironmentReport 2011 (State of the Environment Committee,2011) identifies that climate change and oceanacidification and their interaction with otherpressures is increasingly threatening Australia’stropical coral reefs, including the GreatBarrier Reef.The health and resilience of the Great Barrier ReefWorld Heritage Area will be improved, includingthrough continued focus on whole-of-ecosystemand integrated approaches such as thosepreviously funded in the first phase of Reef Rescue.A wide range of ecosystem services, such as themaintenance of water quality and flows, benefitour whole community. Wise stewardship ofbiodiversity and natural resources is centralto achieving the objective of maintaining theseservices. Support will be provided to mitigate theimpacts of land use on our waterways and coastalhabitats by restoring the health and resilienceof ecosystems.Reef Rescue will contribute to the followingCaring for our Country five year outcomes:• better protect and conserve nationally andinternationally significant ecosystems, species,ecological communities and landscapes,through actions that:– identify and address key threateningprocesses at a range of scales– enhance the condition, connectivity andresilience of habitats and landscapesby protecting or restoring ecosystemfunctions, including nutrient, water andenergy flows– incorporate Indigenous ecologicalknowledge into planning and onground outcomes– reflect a whole of landscape approach tobiodiversity conservation.• build community capacity and connection withthe environment, including through activitiesthat re-establish urban bushland, areas ofIndigenous significance and the health ofurban waterways.1.3 SustainableAgriculture streamThe Sustainable Agriculture stream willsupport the uptake of more sustainablefarm and fisheries practices and enhancethe capacity of land managers for improvednatural resource management (StrategicDirections 2013). This support will be availableacross all forms of production, including cropping,grazing, horticulture, agroforestry, fisheriesand aquaculture.2 Reef Rescue 2013–18—Applicant guidelines and how to apply


The strategic objectives of the SustainableAgriculture stream of Caring for our Country overthe next five years are to:• promote sustainable production of food• promote innovation in Australian agricultureand fisheries practices• take a strategic approach to reducing theimpact of weeds and pests on agriculture• improve management of agriculture andfisheries on the natural resource base• foster a skilled and capableLandcare community.The Australian Government will invest instrategic activities to create partnerships thatleverage co-investment and deliver extensive andsignificant outcomes that support the sustainablemanagement of Australia’s natural resourceswhile also encouraging innovation.As one of these investments, Reef Rescuewill support activities that contribute to thestrategic objectives and five-year outcomes ofthe Sustainable Agriculture stream of Caring forour Country:‘Improved management of agriculture andfisheries and the natural resource base.’Reef Rescue is a highly successful and valuedcomponent of Caring for our Country. It is anexcellent example of a partnership betweenindustry groups and regional natural resourcemanagement organisations. Key to its success isits collaborative design and delivery. Reef Rescuewill continue to be funded in the second phase ofCaring for our Country to:• facilitate increased adoption of landmanagement practices that reduce run-offof nutrients, pesticides and sediments fromagricultural land• increase farm profitability• improve the health of the Great BarrierReef lagoon.Reef Rescue related five year outcomes:• Increase the percentage and area of farmingentities that have adopted sustainableland management practices to build farmproductivity and improve the quality ofecosystem services delivered to the broadercommunity from their land, whilst buildingtheir resilience to climate change.• Increase the percentage of farming and fishingentities and land managers that improve theirknowledge and skills in managing our naturalresources to deliver ecosystem services.1.4 The Great Barrier ReefWorld Heritage AreaThe Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reefecosystem on earth. At 348 000 square kilometres,the Great Barrier Reef is one of the richest andmost diverse natural ecosystems on Earth. TheGreat Barrier Reef attracts more than 1.6 millionvisitors each year, contributes more than $5 billionto the Australian economy, and generates about63 000 jobs. The unique qualities of this propertywere recognised in 1981 when it was inscribed onthe World Heritage List.Climate change is a significant threat to the GreatBarrier Reef. Increasing sea water temperature,sea level rise, ocean acidification and other effectsof climate change are already impacting on theGreat Barrier Reef. The poor quality of waterrunning into the Great Barrier Reef from adjacentcatchments is also a major threat to the ecosystem.Significant amounts of nutrients, sediments andpesticides are entering the Great Barrier Reef,primarily from broadscale agricultural land use.This is affecting the health of the Great BarrierReef, particularly inshore coral reef habitats,which is in turn decreasing the ability of theecosystem to withstand and recover from otherunrelated impacts, such as coral bleaching eventsand increased storm intensity associated withclimate change. These significant direct andindirect impacts make improving catchment waterquality a high priority.3


At its 36th meeting in June 2012, the WorldHeritage Committee considered the state ofconservation of the Great Barrier Reef WorldHeritage Area and noted a report from amonitoring mission that visited Australia earlierthat year. The report recognised that Australia’smanagement of the Great Barrier Reef WorldHeritage Area is in many respects internationalbest practice. The Committee handed downa decision on Australia’s management of theGreat Barrier Reef with recommendations tofurther manage and protect the reef, includingto continue the Australian Government’s ReefRescue program, undertake a comprehensivestrategic assessment of the World Heritage Areaand, develop a long-term plan for sustainabledevelopment that will protect the outstandinguniversal value of the property.1.5 Reef RescueIn the first phase of the Caring for our CountryReef Rescue program, the Australian Governmentcommitted $200 million over five years(2008–09 to 2012–13) to improve the qualityof water entering the Great Barrier Reef lagoon.Reef Rescue is the single largest commitment evermade to address the threats of declining waterquality and climate change to the Great BarrierReef World Heritage Area.The Reef Water Quality Protection Plan (ReefPlan) is a joint agreement between the Australianand Queensland governments to halt and reversethe decline in water quality entering the GreatBarrier Reef from agricultural landholdings inthe catchment. The Australian Government iscommitted to addressing water quality impactson the Great Barrier Reef and is working withthe Queensland Government on reviewing andupdating the Reef Plan. The Reef Rescue programis the Australian Government’s contribution todelivering on the Reef Plan.Through the Water Quality Grants andPartnerships of the first phase of Reef Rescue, over2000 farmers from the sugarcane, horticultureand grain agriculture sectors have adoptedland management practices that will improvethe quality of water reaching the reef lagoon.Additionally, over 900 pastoralists managing over1.4 million hectares have implemented improvedgrazing management practices that have increasedgroundcover and reduced the amount of sedimentreaching the Great Barrier Reef.The second phase of Reef Rescue (2013–18) buildson the success of the first phase of the program.It will continue to support activities to improve thequality of water entering the Great Barrier Reefby helping agricultural land managers across thereef catchment adopt improved land managementpractices that will reduce the discharge ofnutrients, sediments and pesticides into the reeflagoon. The next phase of Reef Rescue will supporta broad range of managers and researchers acrossthe Great Barrier Reef catchment, including inurban areas, to address the threats of decliningwater quality and climate change to the reef.Reef Rescue (2013–18) will focus on six integratedcomponents; the first two of which are covered bythese guidelines:1. Water Quality Grants and Partnerships toincrease the voluntary uptake of improved landmanagement practices by landholders that willreduce the discharge of nutrients, sedimentsand chemicals into the Great Barrier Reef.2. Systems Repair and Urban Grants. TheBiodiversity Fund will support Reef Rescue byinvesting $40 million over the next five yearsto increase the Great Barrier Reef’s resilienceto climate change. Funding will be available forwetland, riparian and mangrove protection,and restoration projects. A further $10 millionof Caring for our Country funding will supportplanning and on-ground projects to improvethe quality of water entering the Great BarrierReef from highly developed areas of thereef catchment.4 Reef Rescue 2013–18—Applicant guidelines and how to apply


3. Water Quality Monitoring and Reportingand Research and Development (R&D). Thewater quality monitoring and reporting aimsto track the progress of investment against thebroader program objectives while monitoringthe health of the Great Barrier Reef. The R&Dwill continue to improve the understanding ofthe link between agricultural and industrialimpacts and health of the Great Barrier Reef.This will supplement the research beingundertaken through the Great Barrier ReefFoundation and National EnvironmentalResearch Program.4. Crown of Thorns Starfish (COTS) Controlwhich aims to decrease the impact of COTS bysupporting tourism operators to continue todefend high value tourism sites. The programwill also fund research on new control methods.Implementation arrangements for the WaterQuality Monitoring and Reporting and R&D, COTScontrol, Land and Sea Country Partnerships andthe GBRMPA components will be consideredseparately by the Australian Government.The Sustainable Environment stream willcontribute to all six components of the ReefRescue program. The Sustainable Agriculturestream will contribute to the overall outcomes butprimarily through the Water Quality Grants andPartnerships and the Water Quality Monitoringand Reporting and R&D components of the ReefRescue program.5. Land and Sea Country Partnerships whichwill continue to strengthen communicationsbetween local communities, Great Barrier Reefmanagers and stakeholders and build a betterunderstanding of Traditional Owner use of theGreat Barrier Reef Marine Park.6. Critical operational support for the GreatBarrier Reef Marine Park Authority(GBRMPA) as the cornerstone institutionfor community, business, monitoring andgovernment management of the Great BarrierReef. This operational support will allowGBRMPA to enhance the conservation of theGreat Barrier Reef, and maintain and developtheir reef management systems and reefresilience programs.5


PART 2—Priorities for investmentThe geographic focus of Reef Rescue will continue to be the Great Barrier Reef catchmentsas represented by the six natural resource management regions: Cape York, Wet Tropics,Burdekin, Mackay Whitsunday Isaacs, Fitzroy and Burnett Mary.2.1 Water Quality Grants andPartnerships (2013–18)The Australian Government has worked incollaboration with the Queensland Governmentand other stakeholders to identify the prioritylocations and activities considered most likelyto deliver the largest and most cost effectivereductions in sediments, nutrients and pesticidesentering the Great Barrier Reef over the next fiveyears. The $98 million Reef Rescue Water QualityGrants and Partnerships will be divided intotwo components:2.2.1 Water Quality GrantsThe Australian Government invites applicationsin 2013–14 from organisations for the first threeyears of funding through the Water Quality Grantscomponent to deliver an integrated regional basedprogram for the second phase of Reef Rescuethat includes planning and training, ‘recipientrun’ grants and extension for landholders thatparticipate in relevant planning and training.A further funding round will be run for thelast two years of funding for the Water QualityGrants component.The Water Quality Grants component will providefunds to agricultural land managers througha ‘recipient run’ grants process to implementimproved land management practices to reducethe sediments, nutrients and pesticides leavingtheir farms and impacting on Great Barrier Reefwater quality. Funding for on-ground workswould only be available to landholders who haveparticipated in relevant planning and training.Participating landholders may need to receivea high degree of one-on-one industry technicalexpert support to develop prioritised riskassessments regarding their land managementpractices in order to be eligible for Water QualityGrants funding.Applicants for this component will need todemonstrate their capacity to deliver a targeted‘recipient run’ grant program to land managers foron-ground activities within one of the geographicareas for investment. Applicants must also showa high level of capacity for program reporting andproject management. The Australian Governmentwill favour proposals that use collaborativepartnerships to cost effectively achieve enhanceddelivery of outcomes (refer to the assessmentcriteria set out in Part 6).Applicants seeking funding for activities under theWater Quality Grants component must directlysupport agricultural land managers in the GreatBarrier Reef catchment to adopt land managementpractices which will improve the quality of waterleaving their properties and entering the reeflagoon. These may include but are not limited to:• development and/or implementation ofproperty plans or farm management systems• practices that reduce sediment loss fromagricultural land, including reduced tillage,retention of crop residues, minimisation ofthe effects of machinery through controlledtraffic farming, maintaining good levels ofground cover between permanent planting andmanaging pastures to maintain adequate levelsof ground cover6 Reef Rescue 2013–18—Applicant guidelines and how to apply


• practices that reduce fertiliser loss andimprove its efficiency on farm land• practices that use less pesticide and/or usepesticides more efficiently and reduce lossesto waterways• voluntary land management agreements orsimilar instruments to improve and maintainthe condition of grazing land• undertaking strategic fencing activities andproviding off-stream watering points toimprove livestock grazing management andpasture/stock monitoring• improving the management and water useefficiency of irrigation water• other actions identified in industry bestmanagement practice programs as ‘B’ (best)class practices• the adoption of innovative approaches toreduce nutrient sediment and pesticideloads delivered to streams draining into theGreat Barrier Reef lagoon where they havequantifiable water quality benefits. Fundingthrough ‘recipient run’ grant programs forlandholder projects focused on adoptinginnovative practices will be assessed byan Australian Government officer prior toapproval by the delivery partner. Innovativeactivities will need to demonstrate that anyrisks associated with the innovation will beappropriately managed.The Australian Government investmentprioritisation process is intended to identifyinvestment priorities at a regional level accordingto their relative risk to water quality and thepotential for efficient, economically soundreduction in pollutant run-off. A summary ofthe outcomes from this process is available atwww.nrm.gov.au/funding/reef-rescue. Applicantsare advised to consider this information inpreparing their applications. This information willbe used to assess proposals and ensure that theprogram is well targeted and achieves the bestoutcome for the Great Barrier Reef. The AustralianGovernment reserves the right to run additionalfunding rounds in the event that gaps remain inthe program.There is no minimum grant for on-groundactivities per landholder through a ‘recipientrun’ grants process. However, proposals allowinggrant funding for individual landholder projectsover $40 000 will require strong justificationto the Australian Government by the deliverypartner. Water Quality Grants funding must bematched by the land manager, at least dollar fordollar. Matching contributions can be in cash, orin kind or both. Investments where the matchingcontribution is more than the minimum requiredmay be more competitive on a value for moneybasis during the assessment.Contributions can be from the following or otherappropriate sources:• cash from the community, local orstate government• local industry sponsorship (there must bestrong community support for the project)• group and landholder volunteer time forproject activities• group and landholder equipment andmachinery use• office and specialist computer supportessential to the project• salaries of staff involved directly in the project,where more than 20% of their time is allocatedto the project• administration or legal costs other than thosedirectly related to the delivery of the project• insurance costs• day-to-day operating costs related to thedelivery of the project.Labour rates, equipment hire and other inkind costs will vary depending on the type ofskills provided, equipment used etc. In kindcontributions should be costed at local marketrates and justification provided for these rates.It is the responsibility of the delivery partner/proponents to ensure that the costs are reasonablegiven the requirements of the project.7


2.1.2 Water Quality PartnershipsWater Quality Partnerships will build onexisting programs and networks to supportthe implementation of on-farm actions andcoordination activities funded through the WaterQuality Grants component through:• innovative extension services to assistland managers with the development andimplementation of on-farm sustainability andwater quality programs• on-site risk assessments such as farmmanagement systems including bestmanagement practices, environmentalmanagement programs or farm productivityassessment programs that assess existingland management activities for sustainabilityand water quality impact, and proposechanges aimed at water quality improvement,agricultural productivity and broaderenvironmental benefits• industry and community wide environmentalmanagement and awareness programs whichare linked to improved water quality in theGreat Barrier Reef catchments• benchmarking of industry-wide landmanagement practices against the relevantindustry frameworks• whole of program coordination and integrationof key stakeholders and other Reef Rescuedelivery partners.Applicants for this component will need todemonstrate their capacity to build and maintainpartnerships with other Reef Rescue deliverypartners and land managers (refer to theassessment criteria set out in Part 6).2.2 Systems Repair andUrban Grants (2013–18)To date, Reef Rescue has focused on improvingwater quality by assisting land managers toadjust their agricultural practices. While furtherimprovements in land management practices willcontinue to increase the health and resilience ofthe Great Barrier Reef, over the next five yearsReef Rescue will also invest in a range ofcomplementary, strategic systems repair activitiesthat improve the quality of water run-off fromagricultural, urban and industrial lands into theGreat Barrier Reef.This $50 million component will be for systemrepair and urban water quality projects that willhelp improve the resilience of the Great BarrierReef. Funding under this Systems Repair andUrban Grants component will be available forplanning and/or on-ground projects. Applicantsmay include both a water quality planningcomponent and on-ground systems repaircomponent in the one project.Up to $40 million from the Biodiversity Fund willsupport Reef Rescue systems repair projects, forexample wetland restoration works and mangroverepair. While the Biodiversity Fund and the ReefRescue programs have distinct objectives, thereare natural synergies between the two in termsof maintaining ecosystem resilience to climatechange through measures that reduce adverseimpacts upon biodiversity. Both programsrecognise the importance of investing in a moreresilient environment.A further $10 million will support urban waterprojects with a focus on planning in the initialyear of the program. Future funding rounds willbe run to respond to the outcomes of the strategicassessments of the Great Barrier Reef regioncurrently being undertaken by the Australianand Queensland Governments and build onthe planning undertaken through this roundof funding.Groups that receive funding under the ReefRescue program will also be able to applyseparately under other Caring for our Countryand Biodiversity Fund competitive rounds andvice versa. Applicants should be aware that theAustralian Government will not fund activitiesthe same as those already being funded throughany other Australian Government programs, stategovernment or third parties.8 Reef Rescue 2013–18—Applicant guidelines and how to apply


The Queensland Government Wetlands Programprovides a significant amount of information forthe public on the wide variety of wetland systemsand types in the Great Barrier Reef catchments.Applicants may consider the resources availableat wetlandinfo.derm.qld.gov.au/wetlands/ indeveloping their application, and planning,delivering and monitoring their project.Proposals for projects that will improve thecondition and extent of biodiverse native habitatsin the Great Barrier Reef catchments must addressthe Reef Rescue objective of improving the qualityof water entering the Great Barrier Reef lagoonand the Biodiversity Fund investment themes.These projects may be located in regional, urbanor industrial areas within the Great Barrier Reefcatchments. The Biodiversity Fund themes include:Biodiverse plantingsImproving the extent of native ecosystems buildsmore resilient and better functioning landscapes.Funding under this theme will support projectsthat establish and manage mixed native speciesplantings to extend the area of land supportingbiodiverse native vegetation.The Australian Government is interested inproject activities in and around the Great BarrierReef catchment that include: establishing andrestoring native wetland and waterway habitatsas aquatic corridors, particularly on ripariancleared lands or lands predominantly occupied bynon-native vegetation.Species should be selected on the basis that theyare likely to be suitable to the region over thelonger term, taking account of changing climaticconditions. In doing so, it is also important to avoidcreating potential invasive species problems.Protecting and enhancing existingnative vegetationFunding under this theme will be provided foractivities that protect, manage and strengthen thecondition of existing native habitat in and aroundthe Great Barrier Reef catchment to secure itswater quality protection and biodiversity benefits.Improving the condition of native habitatssupports the transition from degraded to healthyreef ecosystems, which helps to build resilient andbetter-connected landscapes.The Australian Government is especiallyinterested in project activities that:• integrate native vegetation restorationprojects across wetland and riparian habitatsin connected landscapes• build the capacity of individuals andorganisations to support ongoing ecologicalmanagement beyond project completion.Managing invasive species in aconnected landscapeFunding under this theme will support activitiesthat control the spread of exotic invasive speciesacross wetlands, riparian buffers and mangrovelandscapes. Managing these threats to biodiversitywill help protect and enhance habitat conditionand improve Great Barrier Reef water quality.Preference will be given to managing invasivespecies that significantly diminish the ecologicalvalue of connected areas or areas proposed tobe connected in and around the Great BarrierReef catchment.The Australian Government is especiallyinterested in projects that:• reduce and prevent the spread of exoticinvasive species into new habitats,including wetland and riparian habitats inconnected landscapes• reduce the impact of exotic invasive speciesacross connected landscapes.As a fundamental element of environmentalmanagement, actions to control invasivespecies should form part of every restoration orrevegetation application, whether or not it is thecore theme of the proposal.Projects funded under this theme needto demonstrate that their activities are inaddition to those required by law, or existingbusiness-as-usual activities.10 Reef Rescue 2013–18—Applicant guidelines and how to apply


PART 3—Budget and timeframes3.1 What funding is available?The Australian Government is providing morethan $2 billion for the second phase of Caringfor our Country. The $200 million, five year ReefRescue program is one component of Caring forour Country. Of this $200 million, notional fundingof $148 million has been allocated to Water QualityGrants and Partnerships and System Repair andUrban Grants.Tables 1 and 2 show the notional multi-yearbudget and the expected spread of funding for theWater Quality Grants and Partnerships, and theSystems Repair and Urban Grants components ofReef Rescue (2013–14 to 2017–18).Table 1: Reef Rescue Grants 2013–18 budgetProgram ComponentWater Quality Grantsand PartnershipsSystems Repair andUrban GrantsNotional Funding9850Note: Notional budgets are approximate anddescribed in whole millions.The Australian Government reserves the rightto adjust the notional funding allocationsbetween components of the program based onthe quality and variety of project applicationsreceived. Final funding allocations may beinformed by the quality and variety of projectapplications received.Table 2: Reef Rescue Notional Funding 2013–182013–14 2014–15 2015–16 2016–17 2017–18Water Quality Grants andPartnerships18.5 18.5 24 21 16Systems Repair and Urban Grants 7.5 12.5 13 8.5 8.5Note: Notional budgets are approximate and described in millions.11


The Australian Government may allocateonly a portion of the available funds for theSystems Repair and Urban Grants through thisfunding round and advertise opportunities forfuture funding rounds. Future funding roundswill respond to the outcomes of the strategicassessments of the Great Barrier Reef regioncurrently being undertaken by the Australianand Queensland Governments and build on theplanning funded through this round of funding.3.1.3 General Budget GuidanceApplications must include a project budget.Applicants should consider all aspects of theirproject and ensure their applications include allrelevant costs, as items not budgeted for in theoriginal application will not be funded.Applications should also note that additionalfunds will not be available to meet costs that haveincreased after the application is submitted.3.2 What are the key dates?3.2.1 Water Quality Grants and PartnershipsTable 4: Water Quality Grants andPartnerships application datesOpening DateClosing Date24 April 2013 2pm AEST22 May 20133.2.2 Systems Repair and Urban GrantsTable 5: Systems Repair and Urban Grantsapplication datesOpening DateClosing Date24 April 2013 2pm AEST29 May 2013* AEST = Australian Eastern Standard TimeIt is anticipated that first year payments will bemade early in the 2013–14 financial year. Pleasenote that project years are financial years.Applicants should consider this when preparingtheir project budgets.13


PART 4—Eligibility criteria and what wewill not fundApplicants should consider the eligibility criteria in this part of these Guidelines and theassessment criteria (Part 6) before applying. Please note the eligibility criteria and assessmentcriteria differ to the criteria used in the first phase of Reef Rescue.4.1 Eligibility of applicantApplicants for all components of Reef Rescue mustbe a legal entity. A legal entity capable of enteringinto a funding agreement with the Commonwealthmust be one of the following:• an individual• an incorporated entity (incorporatedassociation or incorporated joint venture)• a Corporations Act corporation• a partnership• a trustee of a trust• an Aboriginal or Torres StraitIslander corporation, council orincorporated association• a government related entity (excludingCommonwealth agencies subject to theFinancial Management and AccountabilityAct 1997 (FMA Act)).Applicants must have, or be able to obtain beforethe agreed date of commencement (and provide adeclaration to this effect):• written consent of any organisation orindividual the applicant partners with orrepresents on the project, including relevantTraditional Owners• all necessary planning, regulatory or otherapprovals, to ensure all project activities arecompleted within the designated timeframe• no overdue reports or acquittals from previousAustralian Government funded projects, exceptwhere alternative timeframes have beenagreed by the Australian Government• an assurance from each organisation orindividual the applicant will partner with orrepresents on the project that they have nooverdue reports or acquittals from previousAustralian Government funded projects.4.2 Eligibility ofproposed project• The proposed activities must be undertakenover a period of one to five years and be able tobe completed by 30 June 2018.• All proposed on-ground activities mustaddress the Investment Priorities (see Part 2 ofthese guidelines).• All proposed on-ground activities must bewithin the Great Barrier Reef catchmentsas represented by the six natural resourcemanagement regions: Cape York, Wet Tropics,Burdekin Dry Tropics, Mackay WhitsundayIsaacs, Fitzroy and Burnett Mary. A mappingtool is available in the online application form.Applicants will be asked to demonstrate thatthe on-ground works for which funding isbeing sought are within the Great BarrierReef catchments.14 Reef Rescue 2013–18—Applicant guidelines and how to apply


Applicants should note that up to a maximumof 5 per cent of the grant amount may bededicated to the costs associated with themonitoring and reporting activities that will berequired by the Australian Government underthe funding agreement.• The cost of project administration shouldnot exceed 10 per cent of the total grantamount. Project administration may includesetting up project management, or arrangingfor contractors and equipment. Amountsabove this may be considered where thereare extenuating circumstances, for instancewhere on-ground works are occurring inremote locations.• For Systems Repair projects proposed onpublic land, a contribution from the public landowner is required.4.3 What will not be fundedReef Rescue will not fund activities which:• do not address one of the priorities forinvestment in Part 2 of these Guidelines• are retrospective—activities that have beenundertaken before entering into a fundingagreement with the department• are currently receiving, or have previouslyreceived, funding through other AustralianGovernment, State or Territory fundinginitiatives or programs, or from otherthird parties, where those activities aresubstantially the same• form part of the business as usual (includingduty of care) practices of land managersor owners• are required by law or as part of an approvalunder Commonwealth, state or territorylegislation, for example, the provision of anenvironmental offset under the EPBC Act• are likely to have a significant adverse impacton any matter of national environmentalsignificance under the EPBC Act• are likely to have significant adverseimpact on Indigenous cultural heritageand have not received approval for theactivities through relevant state or territorylegislative requirements• involve the purchase of equipment or materialsthat are normally part of a landholder’sresponsibility for the management of theirproperty, except where there is a direct waterquality benefit• include planting species that are knownto be, or are potential, environmental oragricultural weeds• are primarily for the purpose of beautifyingor improving amenity (e.g. landscaping picnictables, shelters and paving)• predominantly support applied research, toolbuilding and/or modelling approaches exceptwhere it is demonstrably required to achieveon-ground outcomes in line with Reef Rescuepriorities and during the life of the project• are part of or for the purposes of political orideological advocacy (e.g. protesting againsta development)• are the responsibility or business of state,territory or local governments or of privateland managers, including activities that are alegislative and regulatory responsibility (e.g.managing or controlling certain weeds orcompliance activities). These activities maybe undertaken in conjunction with fundedactivities provided the application identifiesnon-Caring for our Country funding for thatpart of the project• provide bounties for the control ofvertebrate pests• principally support businessdevelopment activities• are outside of the six natural resourcemanagement regions: Cape York, Wet Tropics,Burdekin Dry Tropics, Mackay WhitsundayIsaacs, Fitzroy and Burnett Mary15


• focus on the provision or extraction of water orwater use efficiency. However, applicants areencouraged to consider potential opportunitiesto develop projects that address land and waterissues through an integrated approach. TheAustralian Government’s Water for the Futureprogram focuses on water use efficiency issues.Further information on Water for the Futureis available at www.environment.gov.au/water/policy-programs/water-for-the-future/index.html• any proposal which may involve the purchaseof land or large capital infrastructure shouldbe discussed with the Australian Governmentprior to approval by the delivery partner.16 Reef Rescue 2013–18—Applicant guidelines and how to apply


PART 5—Application andassessment processes5.1 Preparationof applicationsThese guidelines invite applications to besubmitted via an online application process.The guidelines invite applications for any of thefollowing grants components of Reef Rescue:• Reef Water Quality Grants and Partnerships• Systems Repair and Urban Grants5.2 Application processApplicants for funding through Reef Water QualityGrants and Partnerships, and Systems Repairand Urban Grants are encouraged to apply viaapplication forms available at www.nrm.gov.au.A list of application opening and closing dates arelisted in Part 3 of these guidelines.Applicants should ensure their submittedapplications clearly outline the activities intendedto be undertaken, the overarching project budgetand evidence of their organisations capacity todeliver against the relevant program outcomes.All applications submitted through the ReefWater Quality Grants and Partnerships, andSystems Repair and Urban Grants processes willbe assessed against all four assessment criteriaas listed in Part 6 of these guidelines. Applicantsshould familiarise themselves with these criteriabefore beginning the application process.5.3 How will applicationsbe assessed?Applications for funding will be assessed byAustralian Government staff (which may includestaff from various Commonwealth agencies)and may also include representatives from thecommunity. All assessors will be required to:• sign conflict of interest declarations and keepthem up to date• comply with the Australian Public Service Codeof Conduct.As part of the assessment process, applicationswill be screened to confirm whether all of theeligibility criteria in Part 4 have been met. Thoseapplications that do not meet the eligibilitycriteria will be excluded from the remainder of theevaluation process.Assessors will evaluate applications against theassessment criteria in Part 6 and will moderateapplications against all other applications that havemet eligibility requirements. Applications that bestmeet the assessment criteria in Part 6 will have agreater likelihood of being funded.Information provided in your application will beused to assess your proposed project. You areresponsible for the accuracy of all informationsubmitted. If you knowingly provide inadequate,false or misleading information, your proposalmay be excluded from the assessment process.A moderation panel comprising executive ofthe Department of Sustainability, Environment,Water, Population and Communities and theDepartment of Agriculture, Fisheries andForestry will then consider the assessedapplications. The Moderation panel may include17


community representatives and will be chairedby an independent person before the Ministersdetermine which projects will receive funding.For the Systems repair and urban water qualityon-ground grants, recommendations on successfulprojects will also be considered by the Land SectorCarbon and Biodiversity Board (the Board)—an independent, permanent advisory boardestablished under the Climate Change Authority Act2011 (Cth). The Board will provide advice to theAustralian Government Minister for Sustainability,Environment, Water, Population and Communitieson the assessment outcomes, before the Ministerdetermines which projects will receive funding.For the Reef Water Quality Grants andPartnerships, the moderation panel will provideadvice to the Australian Government Minister forSustainability, Environment, Water, Populationand Communities and the Minister for Agriculture,Fisheries and Forestry who jointly determinewhich projects will receive funding.The moderation panel and the Board may considerproposals in the context of:• effective partnerships and collaborationin achieving biodiversity outcomes acrossthe landscape• the extent to which proposals complement andsupport projects already funded through theprogram and/or other proposals submitted inthe round• the spread of projects across the regions• the spread of projects across activity typeand organisation.The moderation panel may make recommendedadjustments to proposals where a realignmentof activities or budget would better meet theobjectives of Reef Rescue. The AustralianGovernment reserves the right to run additionalfunding rounds in the event that gaps remain inthe program.Opportunities to refine the scope, scale, fundingamount and/or funding profile of high qualityprojects to better achieve Reef Rescue objectivesmay also be identified by through the assessmentprocess. These will be discussed with applicantsonce final decisions have been taken for theprojects to be funded.The departments may contact applicants duringthe assessment process to seek clarification abouttheir application, especially if the information init is ambiguous or if contradictory statementsare made. The departments reserve the rightto accept or disregard additional informationprovided by applicants and will not acceptmaterial that improves or amends an applicant’soriginal application.The Australian Government may also seekalignment with complementary projects in orderto maximise outcomes. This would be discussedwith applicants where relevant.5.3.1 Selection and notificationThe assessment process will be overseen byan independent probity advisor to ensure theprocesses are robust, transparent and equitable.The Minister for Sustainability, Environment,Water, Population and Communities and Ministerfor Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry will makethe final determination on which projects receivefunding. In making the final determinations, theMinisters may also choose to seek other sources ofadvice to inform their decision.The Ministers’ decision on the selection ofsuccessful applicants will be final.Applicants may receive feedback on theirapplication from the department.All successful and unsuccessful applicants will benotified in writing of the outcome of assessment.18 Reef Rescue 2013–18—Applicant guidelines and how to apply


PART 6—Assessment CriteriaWhere an application meets all eligibility criteria described in Part 4 (and any investmenttheme-specific eligibility criteria outlined in Part 2) it will then be assessed against thefollowing assessment criteria, which are not necessarily listed in order of importance.The department reserves the right to undertakeexternal assessments or feasibility studies anduse the information provided in applications forthis purpose.Criterion 1—Benefits to Prioritiesfor InvestmentThe application should demonstrate:• how the project delivers against Reef Rescue’spriorities for investment, including thelikelihood of achieving change and outcomesthat benefit the Great Barrier Reef, and in thecase of Systems repair and urban water qualityon-ground project applications, how the projectaligns with Biodiversity Fund investmentthemes (described in Part 2)• what activities will be undertaken as part ofthe project and how these activities contributeto project outcomes• how relevant programs or environmental,natural resource management andconservation plans have been considered indesigning the project• how the project will engage stakeholders andfacilitate the sharing of knowledge to involvethe community.Criterion 2—Capacity of applicant to deliverThe application should demonstrate:• the proposed management steps and how theapplicant will deliver project outcomes on timeand within budget. Project budgets should beconsistent with proposed activities and includean appropriate contribution in accordance withPart 2 of these guidelines• the applicant’s history in administeringgrants funding or their collaboration withappropriate partners to deliver the projectoutcomes. If an applicant does not haveprevious experience in administering grantsfunding, they should demonstrate the skillsand knowledge that, through partnerships, willcontribute to achieving results and managingproject obligations• in the case of Water Quality Grant projects,the applicant’s capacity to deliver targeted‘recipient run’ grant programs to landholdersfor on-ground activities• the applicant’s access to relevant expertise• the governance arrangements of the project,including the applicant’s capacity for reportingand project management• the way in which relevant partnerships willoperate both administratively and practicallyand the benefit they will provide to the project(note that you will be asked to provide detailsof proposed partnerships and these partnersmay be contacted by the department)19


• the likelihood of the applicant receivingall necessary approvals, including thepermission of private landholders andregulatory approvals• a commitment to ongoing management tomaintain benefits following the completion ofthe project.Criterion 3—Risk managementThe application should demonstrate:• that all relevant risks have been considered indesigning the project• that appropriate mitigation strategies havebeen developed for the identified risks.including any potential future revenue earnedthrough the Carbon Farming Initiative• that no more than 5 per cent of the grantamount requested will be used for monitoringand reporting activities required by theAustralian Government• that project administration costs do notexceed more than 10 per cent of the grantamount requested, unless justification hasbeen provided for amounts above this inextenuating circumstances.Note that project administration costs cannotbe included retrospectively. Costs incurred inpreparing applications will not be funded.Criterion 4—Value for moneyThe application should demonstrate:• that the amount of funding sought for theproposal is justified and the project contributesto the achievement of the Reef Rescue prioritiesfor investment (described in Part 2)• the location of the project and a sense ofits scale• that the total project budget represents goodvalue for money, taking into account theexpected public benefit to be derived fromthe project• that budget items are reasonable and relevantto project activities for each project site andapply only to eligible activities (see Part 2 foreligible activities)• other contributions to the project, forexample the level of financial and/or in-kindcontribution to be provided by the applicant,partners, third parties or other sources,20 Reef Rescue 2013–18—Applicant guidelines and how to apply


PART 7—Preparing your applicationTo apply for a Reef Rescue grant under the Sustainable Environment stream of Caring for ourCountry, all sections of the application form must be completed and submitted in accordancewith the closing dates for applications (See Part 3.2).Additional information not requested in theapplication form will not be assessed.Potential applicants are advised to contact a ReefRescue officer to discuss the project idea. Contactdetails can be found at www.nrm.gov.au.Electronic applications are preferred.Application forms can be accessed andcompleted at the Caring for our Countrywebsite at www.nrm.gov.au.Online submission of the application form isconsidered the equivalent of it being signedand approved by the authorising officer ofthe applicant.Applicants will need to complete a separateapplication form for each project they wishto submit. The web based form has a uniquereference number for each application.If you do not have access to the internet, hardcopy applications can be submitted by post. Ifyou require a hard copy application pack, pleasecall the Caring for our Country information lineon 1800 552 008. The only hard copy applicationform that will be accepted is the hard copyversion supplied via the Caring for our Countryinformation line.Please do not send hard copies of applications thathave already been submitted electronically.If submitting a hard copy application, please postit to:Caring for our CountryReef Policy and Programs SectionDepartment of Sustainability, Environment,Water, Population and CommunitiesGPO Box 787CANBERRA ACT 2601Applicants should keep a copy of each applicationfor their records.The Australian Government may, at its solediscretion, extend the application period. Any suchextension will be advised on the Caring for ourCountry website and emailed to those registeredfor the EcoNews email alerts. You can subscribe tothe email alerts at www.nrm.gov.au/subscribe.Generally, late applications will notbe accepted.The Australian Government has no obligationto accept a late application. Any decision by theAustralian Government to accept or not accept alate application is at the Australian Government’sabsolute discretion and will be final.All hard copy applications must be postmarkedby the relevant closing time and date or listed inPart 3 of these guidelines. Applicants should notethat the closing dates differ depending on thecomponent of Reef Rescue.21


PART 8—Fundingagreement requirements8.1 Grant conditions8.1.1 Project reporting and acquittalSuccessful applicants will be responsible formanaging the project within agreed timelines,which includes meeting monitoring, evaluation,reporting and improvement (MERI) requirementsand acquitting expenditure. Where the projectincludes a partnership, the organisation orindividual that has applied on the partnership’sbehalf (the applicant) is legally responsible forensuring all contractual requirements are met.8.1.2 Taxation and GSTGrants are subject to normal taxation treatmentand no special arrangements will apply. Youshould seek independent advice on the taxationimplications of receiving a grant.Project budgets in applications should be GSTexclusive. GST will be added to funding payments(as applicable) by the department in accordancewith the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax)Act 1999 (Cth).8.1.3 Planning approvalsApplicants are required to obtain all necessaryplanning approvals for their project, includingthe permission of the landowner or land managerfor any project on private or public land, beforecommencement of the funding agreement. Thefunding agreement will not be executed unless thenecessary approvals have been obtained.Applicants should also note that the scope ofthe project, as detailed in your application form,cannot be changed after it has been submitted,unless otherwise advised by the department. Thescope of a project includes, but is not limited to:• budget items• project activities• project outcomes• site area• co-contributions (in-kind, financial, labour,equipment, other partners).8.1.4 InsuranceSuccessful applicants will not receive fundingunless they have adequate public liabilityinsurance for the duration specified in thefunding agreement.8.2 Funding agreementA funding agreement is a performance-based,legally enforceable agreement between thedepartment and the successful applicant. It setsout the terms and conditions governing thefunding to be provided for the project.All grant payments for the project are subjectto the successful applicant entering into, andcomplying with, the terms and conditions of thefunding agreement.The Department of Sustainability, Environment,Water, Population and Communities (thedepartment) will only enter into a fundingagreement with the successful applicant.22 Reef Rescue 2013–18—Applicant guidelines and how to apply


The successful applicant will then be legallyresponsible for ensuring all of the obligationsunder the terms and conditions of the fundingagreement are met.Where the successful applicant has establisheda partnership or has identified third partycontributions to assist in the project, thesuccessful applicant may need to have legalarrangements in place with those partiesto ensure the completion of the project. Thedepartment may require successful applicants toconfirm that such legal arrangements are in placeprior to the first funding release being made underthe funding agreement.If the funding agreement is not signed andreturned within 20 business days from thedate the offer is made, the offer of funding maybe withdrawn.Applicants should familiarise themselves withall aspects of the draft funding agreement atwww.nrm.gov.au to ensure they are able to complywith its terms and conditions. Key requirements ofthe funding agreement include that:• funding is contingent on achievement ofprescribed milestones• the department may ask for furtherinformation and/or conduct site visits and/orarrange inspections by third parties from timeto time to monitor the progress of the projectand assess compliance of the project with thefunding agreement requirements• the department may also seek repayment offunds that are found to have not been spent orto have been spent not in accordance with thefunding agreement• successful applicants are responsible forensuring that their project complies withall requirements set out in any applicableCommonwealth, state or territory legislationand regulations, and that the project is carriedout to a high standard• where undertaking on-ground works,successful applicants are required toappraise the site(s) and proposed activities,and determine appropriate managementprocedures to minimise the risk ofspreading invasive plants and/or plant andanimal diseases• successful applicants will be required toacknowledge the Australian Government’ssupport and funding for the project accordingto logo use and recognition guidelines atwww.nrm.gov.au.The funding agreement must be signed by theperson who is authorised to sign for, and on behalfof, the organisation that will manage the projectand administer the funds.8.3 Monitoring and reportingThe Australian Government requires monitoringand reporting of all environmental and naturalresource management programs it funds.Monitoring, evaluating and reporting on projectperformance will provide evidence about theappropriateness, impact, effectiveness andefficiency of investment made through Caring forour Country and the Biodiversity Fund.All projects that are funded will be subject tofinancial and performance monitoring andevaluation to ensure that they are meetingspecified milestones and performanceindicators as detailed in the funding agreement.Reporting requirements are specified in thefunding agreement.The Australian Government aims to streamlinethe way in which successful applicants monitorand report on their project’s progress andoutcomes. Monitoring and reporting requirementsare detailed in the Monitoring, Evaluation,Reporting and Improvement Strategy—Caringfor our Country (phase II) and Biodiversity Fund,which will be made available at www.nrm.gov.au).23


The Monitoring, Evaluation, Reporting andImprovement Strategy will enable the AustralianGovernment to:• monitor and report on performance againststrategic objectives and five-year outcomes• support learning and improvement in thedesign and delivery of investment• provide advice to the community onmonitoring and reporting on the state andtrends of biophysical, social and economicassets relevant to Caring for our Country andthe Biodiversity Fund.Funding agreements will clearly identify theresults expected from investments. The levelof detail required for monitoring and reportingshould be in line with the overall level ofinvestment in the project.The Monitoring, Evaluation, Reporting andImprovement Strategy and guidance material canbe downloaded from the Caring for our Countrywebsite at www.nrm.gov.au.8.4 Project acquittalAs a recipient of public monies, successfulapplicants are obliged to report on the financialand practical progress of their project. Oncethe project is completed, successful applicantsmust acquit their project. This will involve a finalreport and an independent qualified accountantexamining the project’s records and certifying thatall funds have been expended in accordance withthe funding agreement. Final acquittal is requiredwithin eight weeks of the agreed completion datefor the project.24 Reef Rescue 2013–18—Applicant guidelines and how to apply


PART 9—Rights and Responsibilities9.1 ApplicantsIt is the responsibility of the applicant to:• fully and properly inform themselves of therequirements of the Caring for our CountryReef Rescue program, these guidelines and therequirements of the application process• ensure that their application is complete andaccurate, as the department is not obliged torequest additional or missing information• identify any information contained withintheir application that they consider should betreated as confidential and provide reasonsfor the request (noting that the departmentwill not be in breach of any confidentialityobligations where disclosure is required asoutlined further in Part 9.3 below)• keep a copy of their application and anyattachments for their own records• inform the department of any changes totheir circumstances that may affect theirapplication or their eligibility for funding underthese guidelines.If an applicant is successful in obtaining funding,it is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure thatthey hold the relevant insurance(s) at the time ofentering into the funding agreement and priorto any project activities being undertaken. TheAustralian Government may require the applicantto provide copies of the relevant certificates ofcurrency for their insurance.Applicants are also required to declare in writingto the Australian Government where any actual,apparent, or potential conflict of interest existsor might arise in relation to their application thatmay impact on it, the proposed project or anyfunding agreement it may enter into with theAustralian Government.The applicant’s participation in any stage of theapplication process, or in relation to any matterconcerning the process, is at the applicant’s solerisk, cost and expense. The Australian Governmentwill not be responsible for any costs or expensesincurred by an applicant in preparing or lodgingan application or in taking part in the process.Applicants must provide an Australian BusinessNumber (ABN). This must match the legal entityof the applicant that would receive the funding.If applicants are unsure of the GST status oftheir organisation, please consult the AustralianTaxation Office website at www.ato.gov.au orphone the Business Tax Enquiries line on 132 866.The Australian Government will not acceptresponsibility for any misunderstanding arisingfrom the failure by an applicant to complywith these guidelines, or arising from anydiscrepancies, ambiguities, inconsistencies orerrors in their application.Applicants are entirely responsible for theaccuracy of all information submitted in theirapplication. If applicants knowingly provideinadequate, false or misleading information,the application may be excluded from theassessment process.If an applicant discovers any material discrepancy,ambiguity, inconsistency or errors in theirapplication, they must immediately bring it tothe attention of the Australian Governmentby emailing reefrescue@environment.gov.au.The Australian Government may request furtherinformation from an applicant and allow anapplicant to remedy any discrepancy, ambiguity,inconsistency or errors in an application. TheAustralian Government reserves the right toaccept or disregard clarification information25


provided by applicants and will not considerclarification information that materially improvesor amends an applicant’s original application.Applicants should be aware that the giving of falseor misleading information is a serious offenceunder the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).9.2 The AustralianGovernment’s rightsThe Australian Government reserves the right toamend these guidelines in its absolute discretionand will, where possible, provide reasonablenotice of these amendments. The AustralianGovernment also reserves the right to vary,suspend or terminate the assessment process atany time and in its absolute discretion.9.3 Confidentialityand privacyApplicants must identify any informationcontained within their application that theyconsider should be treated as confidential andprovide reasons for the request.The Australian Government will only consider arequest for confidentiality where:• the information to be protected is identified inspecific rather than global terms• the information is by its nature confidential or• disclosure would cause detriment to theparties concerned.The Australian Government adheres to thelegislative and administrative accountabilityand transparency requirements, includingdisclosures to the Parliament and its Committees.Notwithstanding any obligations of confidentiality,the Australian Government may disclose, or allowat any time the disclosure of, any informationcontained in or relating to any application:• to its advisers, employees or internalmanagement for purposes related to theapplication and assessment processes,including to evaluate or otherwise assessapplications and manage any resultantfunding agreement• to the responsible Ministers• in response to a request by a House ora Committee of the Parliament of theCommonwealth of Australia• within the departments, or with anotheragency, where this serves the AustralianGovernment’s legitimate interests• where the information is authorised orrequired by law to be disclosed, noting thatinformation submitted to the AustralianGovernment is subject to the Freedomof Information Act 1982 (Cth) and itsrequirements or• where the information is already in the publicdomain otherwise than due to a breach ofany relevant confidentiality obligation by theAustralian Government.In submitting an application, applicants consent tothe Australian Government using the informationcontained in their application for the abovementioned purposes, for administering theinitiative and any other incidental or relatedpurpose. The Australian Government will storeand use the personal information collected by it incompliance with its obligations under the PrivacyAct 1988 (Cth).26 Reef Rescue 2013–18—Applicant guidelines and how to apply


Applicants should be aware that, if they aresuccessful, Australian Government policy requiresthe department to publish information on itswebsite about the applicant, including but notlimited to:• the name of the legal entity receivingthe funding• the title and purpose of the project• the amount of funding received• terms of the funding• funding location.By submitting an application for funding underReef Rescue, the applicant consents to publicationof the above information by the department if theyare awarded funding.Applicants may access or correct personalinformation by either emailing the departmentat reefrescue@environment.gov.au or sendinga letter to the department’s postal address(see Part 7).27


PART 10—Enquiries, feedbackand complaintsAll enquiries and complaints will be handled consistent with the Department of Sustainability,Environment, Water, Population and Communities Service Charter 2011–14, available fromthe department’s website www.environment.gov.au.All decisions on successful projects are finaland there is no right of appeal, however, thedepartment may, at its discretion, revisita funding recommendation process inexceptional circumstances.Feedback is important to Caring for our Countryand incorporates ongoing business review andimprovement into its design, including surveys,stakeholder feedback, assessor forums and otherconsultative processes. This approach helps torefine the program over time and may informchanges to the program as a whole. Opportunitiesto participate in this process are periodicallyadvertised on the Caring for our Country website.Contact detailsAddressWebsite:Email:Caring for our CountryReef Policy and Programs SectionDepartment of Sustainability,Environment, Water, Populationand CommunitiesGPO Box 787CANBERRA ACT 2601www.nrm.gov.aureefrescue@environment.gov.auPhone: 1800 552 00828 Reef Rescue 2013–18—Applicant guidelines and how to apply


PART 11—Key information sourcesThe information sources listed below may provideuseful sources of information for planningyour project. For further information pleasephone 1800 552 008.Caring for our CountryVisit the Caring for our Country website atwww.nrm.gov.au for key information including:Overview information• a summary of the Australian Government’sinvestment prioritisation process• frequently asked questions• contact details for Australian Governmentnatural resource managementofficers including Indigenous LandManagement Officers• draft funding agreement• other funding opportunities under Caring forour CountryMapping• mapping tool for determining whether yourproject is located within the Great Barrier Reefcatchments as represented by the six NRMregions (Cape York, Wet Tropics, Burdekin DryTropics, Mackay Whitsunday Isaacs, Fitzroyand Burnett Mary), available in the online formApplication• instructions for filling out yourapplication form• application formMonitoring and reporting• Monitoring, Evaluation, Reporting andImprovement Strategy—Caring for ourCountry and Biodiversity Fund• Monitoring, Evaluation, Reporting andImprovement Strategy—Caring for ourCountry and Biodiversity Fund toolkit.For information on specific investment themes,refer to:World Heritage areas• further information on the Great Barrier ReefWorld Heritage area: www.environment.gov.au/heritage/places/world/great-barrier-reef/index.htmlWaterways and coastal environments• OzCoasts Australian online coastalinformation: www.ozcoasts.gov.au/index.jsp• Aquatic Ecosystems Toolkit:www.environment.gov.au/water/publications/environmental/ecosystems/ae-toolkit-mod-1.html• the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority(GRBMPA) Informing the Outlook for GreatBarrier Reef coastal ecosystems 2012• information and tools on the wide varietyof wetland systems and types in theGreat Barrier Reef catchments from theQueensland Government Wetlands Programwetlandinfo.derm.qld.gov.au/wetlands/Ramsar-listed wetlands• information sheets on Ramsar wetlands,management plans and ecological characterdescriptions: www.environment.gov.au/cgi-bin/wetlands/alphablist.pl29


Listed species and ecological communitiesBiodiversity policies:• the National Wildlife Corridors Plan:www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/wildlife-corridors/index.html• the Native Vegetation Framework: www.environment.gov.au/land/vegetation/nvf/• Australia’s Biodiversity Conservation Strategy2010–2030: www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/publications/strategy-2010-30/index.htmlMatters of National EnvironmentalSignificance—lists, tools and plans:• threatened species and ecologicalcommunities: www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/index.html• threatened species and ecologicalcommunities listed under the EPBC Act:www.environment.gov.au/epbc/protect/species-communities.html• key threatening processes listed under theEPBC Act: www.environment.gov.au/cgi-bin/sprat/public/publicgetkeythreats.pl• threat abatement plans established underthe EPBC Act: www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/tap/• recovery plans established under the EPBCAct: www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/recovery-list-common.html• migratory species listed under the EPBC Act:www.environment.gov.au/cgi-bin/sprat/public/publicshowmigratory.pl• conservation advice by NRM region: www.environment.gov.au/cgi-bin/sprat/public/conservationadvice.pl?proc=main• protected matters search tool: www.environment.gov.au/erin/ert/epbc/index.html• Atlas of Living Australia: www.ala.org.au/• managing national heritage places: www.environment.gov.au/heritage/management/national/index.html• regional natural resource management plans,issues for the region and contact information:www.nrm.gov.au/about/nrm/regions/index.html• Australian Natural Heritage Assessment Tool(including regional biodiversity summaries):www.environment.gov.au/heritage/anhat/index.html• Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia:www.environment.gov.au/water/publications/environmental/wetlands/pubs/directory.pdfExotic and invasive speciesFeral animals:• Australian Pest Animal Strategy: www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/invasive/publications/pest-animal-strategy.html orwww.apas.net.au/• Feral animals in Australia: www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/invasive/ferals/index.htmlInvasive plants:• the Australian Weeds Strategy:www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/invasive/weeds/publications/strategies/weed-strategy.html• weed spread and management action maps:www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/invasive/weeds/index.html• Atlas of Living Australia: www.ala.org.au/australias-species/• weeds of national significance and other lists ofweeds of national interest: www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/invasive/weeds/weeds/lists/index.html• weed management plans, training, weedsfacilitator contacts: www.weeds.org.au/• further information on core attributes forsurveying and mapping nationally significantweeds: www.weeds.org.au/docs/Weeds_Manual.pdf30 Reef Rescue 2013–18—Applicant guidelines and how to apply


Related Australian Government programs:• Biodiversity Fund: www.environment.gov.au/cleanenergyfuture/biodiversity-fund/index.html• Clean Energy Future:www.cleanenergyfuture.gov.au• Carbon Farming Initiative:www.climatechange.gov.au/cfior www.cleanenergyfuture.gov.au/carbon-farming-initiative/ orwww.daff.gov.au/climatechange/cfi• Australian Pest Animal Research Program:www.daff.gov.au/brs/land/feral-animals/aparp• National Weeds and Productivity ResearchProgram: www.daff.gov.au/natural-resources/invasive/national_weeds_productivity_research_program• Water for the Future: www.environment.gov.au/water/australia/index.html• Indigenous Australians Caring for Country:www.environment.gov.au/indigenous/index.html• Heritage grants and funding:www.environment.gov.au/heritage/programs/index.html31


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